City jobs hope in £3m race for superfast broadband
A HI-TECH campaign that could net thousands of jobs for Peterborough over the next five years is launched today.
The multi-million pound project, called Connecting Cambridgeshire, seeks to bring superfast broadband to homes and firms in Peterborough and the rest of Cambridgeshire.
Peterborough City Council is investing £3 million in the campaign but civic leaders say that before the city and surrounding villages can receive superfast broadband, firms and residents must show there is a demand for the service, which has a minimum speed of 25Mbps.
They are being urged to click on the link on the new www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk website, which goes live today, to show their support.
Campaign chiefs say that superfast broadband will help boost local businesses and the economy, reduce isolation in rural communities and help improve health and access to services.
Council leader Councillor Marco Cereste said: “If this completely flopped then our money would be lost.
“But I don’t believe there is any risk. I am confident this will be successful.
“This superfast broadband connection will attract new companies to the area and help make those that are already here more competitive.
“It could easily help create thousands of jobs over the next five years.
“I urge everyone to support this campaign in a bid to help our city secure superfast broadband. Increasing our connectivity will attract new businesses, innovation and enterprise.
“Wider coverage with faster connection speeds will also boost our environment capital aspirations and help to reduce our carbon footprint, as businesses will be able to encourage more people to work from home, or remotely, reducing traffic congestion.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire project is being led by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with the city council, district councils and partners in business, health and education.
The aim is to bring access to superfast broadband to at least 90 per cent of businesses and homes across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire and better connectivity for all remaining premises by 2015.
Cambridgeshire County Council has also committed up to £20million with £6.75million allocated by the Government agency BDUK. The money will be used to help meet the cost of installing superfast broadband to firms and homes.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning, said: “We are very unlikely to lose the money. I am supremely confident this will be successful as there are 20 potential suppliers looking to provide the services.”
He added: “A simple click of the mouse could mean so much. It means elderly residents get better access to healthcare and services and it means local businesses can grow and new ones start up, which creates more jobs and a prosperous economy.”
CONFIDENT: Cllr Marco Cereste is certain of support from Peterborough for a superfast broadband link.