Residents and businesses across Aberdeen are being urged to give their views on the provision of ultrafast broadband.
Questionnaires have been sent to 118,000 homes and business premises to help gather evidence which can be used to demonstrate the demand for ultrafast broadband in and around Aberdeen.
The response has been steady so far, but the council is urging everyone in the city to return their questionnaire. If you have lost your copy, you can download a new one at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/business or collect a copy from Marischal College or Kingswells Community Centre from next week.
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils are working in partnership and have agreed to fund £2million each to ensure ultrafast broadband can be delivered in the city and its immediate surrounding areas. We have been named as a successful bidder for the UK Government’s £50million Super-connected Cities funding.
Hugely improved broadband speeds and 4G wifi coverage are now firmly on the cards for the North-east, helping to secure jobs, investment and new business growth.
Many large businesses seeking to locate in the region’s major business parks and development corridors require access to world-class ultrafast digital infrastructure to enable them to compete on an international basis.
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have the highest levels of broadband uptake in the UK, at 74% and 72% respectively, but some of the slowest speeds. Public and private sector investment and a share of the Urban Broadband Fund will be used to increase speeds to 80mbps across the entire city. The overwhelming majority of business and residential users in the area supported with a maximum bit rate of 7.15mbps, but often receiving much less because the infrastructure is frequently overloaded, resulting in much lower connection speeds than advertised.
In order to improve this, the councils and partners are working to demonstrate the level of demand to attract investment in improving broadband infrastructure in the area.
It is expected that the provision of ultrafast broadband across the city will help to: accelerate economic growth and create employment; provide access to faster and more flexible digital infrastructure; support the delivery of education services; and enable more cost-effective delivery of public services including tele-medicine and social care.
Aberdeen City Council leader Barney Crockett said: “I would encourage everyone in the city to fill in and return these questionnaires, which will be essential for us to use to demonstrate the level of need and demand for high speed broadband in the city.
“You’ve still got a fortnight to return the questionnaires, so please take this important opportunity to make your voice heard.
“The Accelerate Aberdeen questionnaires are short and very simple to fill in – just fill in your postcode, tick the relevant box, fold it up and pop it in the post box. There’s no need to add a stamp.”
Questionnaires should be returned by 30 May. There will be no follow-up contact.