Bridging the Digital Divide: Connecting Devon and Somerset announces comprehensive support programme to help businesses and communities Get up to Speed! on superfast broadband.
Connecting Devon and Somerset has announced the successful supplier for its £1 million business and community support programme, Get up to Speed! This programme has been designed to help bridge the digital divide between our rural and urban businesses and communities, as well as encourage take up of the new service as it rolls out across the counties.
The Cosmic Peninsula Consortium, comprising Peninsular Enterprise and Cosmic successfully tendered for the contract to bring training, support and advice to communities and businesses throughout the programme area.
Businesses can get advice on everything from improving efficiency and getting better use out of improved speeds to online marketing, new technologies, apps and software that will help them grow, develop and reach new markets.
It’s not just about businesses however, communities can also benefit through gaining a better understanding of social media, accessing online public services as well as making the most of services such as iPlayer, live streaming, gaming and homeworking.
The Cosmic Peninsular Consortium will now undertake a series of workshops and events that will follow the infrastructure roll out as it moves across Devon and Somerset, helping businesses and individuals access information and develop the skills to get the most from faster broadband speed.
Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “Stimulating demand for high speed broadband helps businesses to understand the potential that digital connectivity unlocks. Taking advantage of that potential provides a major boost to economic growth. It is essential that we equip businesses and communities with the knowledge and confidence to use the improved connectivity that superfast broadband will bring.”
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said: “The Get up to Speed! programme is an important element of Connecting Devon and Somerset. Ensuring our businesses and communities understand the way faster broadband speeds can open up access to services and opportunities online will ensure our counties get the most out of high speed broadband to develop businesses, connect communities and bring about real economic growth.”
Adam Chambers, Chief Executive at Peninsula Enterprise and Julie Hawker Chief Executive at Cosmic commented jointly “We are delighted that our new consortium will be delivering this new service. We are excited about combining our expertise and experience in sharing the benefits of superfast broadband technology with businesses and individuals.”
Connecting Devon and Somerset is responsible for rolling out the £94 million infrastructure project to bring superfast broadband to rural Devon and Somerset in partnership with BT.
It is set to bring high speed fibre broadband to at least 90% of premises across Devon and Somerset by the end of 2016 with at least 2Mbps for all.