Two campaigns launched this week aim to assess broadband availability in rural Northumberland.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan has launched Broadband 4 Northumberland in a bid to gather data about existing services and identify future needs.
“We need to gather the personal and business issues and impact of poor broadband services on communities in Northumberland,” said Ms Trevelyan.
The campaign is asking residents and business in Northumberland to record their broadband experiences via an online questionnaire.
The information gathered by Broadband 4 Northumberland will be shared with Northumberland County Council’s BDUK bid which is expected to be submitted before the end of the year.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) part of the Department of the Culture, Media and Sport, has been set-up with a fund of £530 million from the TV licence fee to plug the gaps where commercially delivered broadband isn’t viable.
Meanwhile the County Land & Business Association (CLA) is lobbying the Government to increase the benchmark broadband speed from 2Mbps to 5Mbps.
It has teamed up with internet and social media expert John Popham to tour the UK and hear from businesses in rural areas that are unable to access a fast, affordable, broadband connection.
Mr Popham will interview people about broadband issues and discuss potential solutions at venues in the North-East, as part of a UK tour, on Thursday, 3 November. He has named his tour Can’t Get Online Week in a direct challenge to the Government’s Get Online Week that is running this week. His aim is to collate and publish the evidence he gathers on the Can’t Get Online Facebook Group and blog.