WE’VE all been there – you’ve almost finished uploading documents, sending an important email or downloading a file when your broadband connection fails and you have to start from scratch. Or worse still – you can’t connect to the internet at all.
Unfortunately for businesses across Lincolnshire, this is an all too familiar story. That’s why the Boston Standard is calling on local firms to back Broadband Means Business Campaign as part of the OnLincolnshire project, to show commercial suppliers there’s an appetite for superfast service in the county.
Businesses in the town are being asked to spend a few minutes registering their support at www.onlincolnshire.org. The list of firms will eventually be used to lobby service providers to make the upgrades in Lincolnshire.
Editor Stephen Stray said: “Our business community has a chance to fight for a service which will help build a sustainable future and we’re asking all of them to do their bit.
“This is a call to action for all local firms to make their voice heard – the more businesses which put their name to the campaign, the stronger position we’ll be in to get access to better broadband ahead of other areas.
“It’s about making sure our businesses have the chance to access top-quality digital services and stay ahead of the latest technological developments.”
The Lincolnshire County Council-led project aims to bring superfast broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps to 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the county by 2015, with a guaranteed 2Mpbs for the remaining premises.
Coun Kelly Smith, executive member for finance and HR at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “Fast broadband isn’t a luxury – it’s vital to business growth, to enabling local residents to access online services, and to young people wanting to download learning materials.
“That’s why the county council has committed £10m of its own money to the project, with a further £4m coming from the district councils.
“Over the next year, we’ll be finalising arrangements with the broadband supplier which could help transform internet connections in Lincolnshire. Greater support from businesses will mean greater investment from that private sector suppliers.”
Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) are also helping to spread the word.
Simon Beardsley, chief executive at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Access to fast and reliable broadband has the power to transform businesses. The digital age is well and truly here and Lincolnshire needs to ensure it doesn’t get left behind the rest of the country.
“This campaign will go a huge way to ensuring businesses have a collective voice in the call for superfast broadband.”
To ensure as many businesses as possible have the chance to have their say, people with little or no broadband access can register on a computer at their local library or by completing a form which is available from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, the IoD and the FSB.
l Businesses can add their names to an online register calling for better services at www.onlincolnshire.org. Those without access to the Internet can still add their voice by calling Lincolnshire County Council’s Customer Service Department on 01522 782006 and giving their details.
l You can stay in touch with what’s happening on the campaign by logging on to www.twitter.com and following @onlincolnshire then search for the hashtag #broadband4biz