Rural Broadband in South Yorkshire
Access to broadband is a key issue for rural communities and businesses. The Sheffield Community Network is now offering funding.
Digital Region South Yorkshire have completed Phase 1 of their digital network build, which provides access to high-speed broadband for 80% of the South Yorkshire region. Phase 2, which covers a further 17% of the region, is now underway.
The remaining 3% is located within the more isolated rural areas, which have limited or no broadband access. This is a significant issue for rural communities and businesses within these areas. In order to address these issues, Digital Region have applied to the Defra ‘Rural Community Broadband Fund’ for match funding to expand their network out to rural areas based on need and demand. Digital Region are mapping gaps in provision and assessing different options for addressing those gaps. They are also looking at how they can provide superfast broadband connectivity to the remaining 3% rural areas of South Yorkshire once phase 1 (80%) and phase 2 (17%) of the network build is complete.
To improve access to broadband within Sheffield, one-third of which is located within the National Park boundary and encompasses large rural areas and villages, ‘Sheffield Community Network’ has been established.
Sheffield Community Network was launched on 3 February 2012, to provide advice support and grant funding to help promote digital participation.
Two sources of funding are available:
For community groups to provide PCs and internet access to people in their areas
To support the start up and growth of digitally-based businesses with a social benefit.
See www.sheffieldcommunity.net for more information.