Village Meeting Report

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Broadband

The village meeting on Monday evening was addressed by three speakers


  • Chris Capes (Manager Connecting Cheshire) spoke on behalf of a consortium of authorities — Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Warrington and Halton — who have joined forces to set up Conmnecting Cheshire.

  • Peter Connor (North West region of BT), who will present a proposal for the provision of the superfast broadband to the Connecting Cheshire consortium once the requirement has been defined.

  • John Popham (Adviser for Rural Community Broadband Fund), a consultant who is addressing specifically the problem of the "last 10%" of rural areas not covered by the government's main plan of providing fast internet to rural areas.


Also present was Andrew Arditti of Cheshire East.

There is a link to the Connecting Cheshire website below the photo.

The message put across was somewhat confusing — it is unclear whether part (or indeed all) of the Audlem area might fall into the "last 10%" category. The presenters appeared to be unsure how they were going to get some kind of commitment or potential buy-in from customers when the price and perforrmance of the offered system are very unclear.

It emerged that there has been a significant increase (to a "headline" 20Mb broadband speed) recently in the Audlem area, but this is at present only available in practice to customers of BT for the actual service. Even then actual speeds achieved varied very widely.

Any proposal which used the alternative technology of wireless transmission appeared to be inadmissable, and it emerged that Burleydam (who appear to be significantly further advanced in their plans than Audlem) had put up a proposal based on wireless which had been ruled out of funding as a result, and they are having to re-present their case using fibre links.

What did become clear is that a consultation with residents and potential superfast broadband users in Audlem is urgently required, and the Parish Council have set up a special task group to push this forward. This group is led by Phil Johnson and includes Geoff Seddon and Heather Jones.

It is hoped that Audlem Online will be able to contribute by providing the means of communication with potential users to get a formal expression of interest.

We have until July 6th to complete this stage of the exercise, so the sooner everybody registers an interest, the better....

 

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