The third of four priorities outlined in the BIS is to address issues affecting infrastructure and planning within the Vale of White Horse. This includes supporting businesses concerned with parking, congestion, public transport and access to high speed broadband.
Vale4Business investigates how we can help to improve local transport infrastructure by lobbying partners to address funding cuts to public transport, highlighting the effect this can have on local SMEs and their staff.
Improving Broadband in the Vale of White Horse
Improving broadband has been a long term priority of Vale4Business. In August 2013 Oxfordshire County Council, in partnership with BT and the Government, launched the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire Project.
75 per cent of respondents to the BIS research cited access to high speed broadband as very important or important. There have been two phases to this project to date. The first phase was a £25 million investment funded by Oxfordshire County Council, the government and BT.
The second phase saw investment of £10.68 million made up of funding from the district councils, Oxfordshire County Council, BT, OxLEP, SEMLEP and government match funding. This included a contribution of £250,000 from Vale Council which was matched by government. It also included prioritisation for the key business parks in the Vale.
The next phase will see re-investment of savings achieved when the take up of superfast broadband has been over 20 per cent in Oxfordshire to achieve over 96% coverage in the Vale.
The latest coverage and the roll-out plans are available here.
The Vale Council are currently looking at options for covering the last 3 to 4% of premises in the district. One option is for communities to co-fund a partnership. If you are interested finding out more about co-funding, please click here.
Why does my business need superfast broadband?
Whether you’re a small, large or home-based business reliable, superfast broadband is essential to your success and growth. No matter how much you use the internet you need to ensure you have a broadband service that is dependable and trustworthy.
How will it help my business grow?
Connect – superfast broadband opens numerous opportunities to businesses. Connect and collaborate with other businesses by file sharing – not just sending larger files but also working in real time on files with business partners – and on-line bidding. Use it as a promotional tool to set up a website, join social media groups, connect to webinars or use it to make cheaper phone or video calls. Attract footfall or business into your facility with the addition of broadband on the premise – this can make a huge difference.
Communication – superfast broadband opens your business up to enhanced telecoms, through video conferencing and VOIP (voice over IP). Better connectivity allows your business to communicate with clients, customers, colleagues, neighbours and people like you.
Security – superfast broadband not only enables your business to make most of cloud computing and cloud-based backup, but a good business broadband package will also offer you enhanced security options.
Service – business broadband should offer you prioritised technical support, guaranteeing a quality service.
What happens if I don’t get better broadband?
Without a service you can trust your business is at risk of falling behind. Superfast broadband improves business performance, and customer relations, it provides operational saving tools, it can assist in the development of new business models and may provide access to new markets. The possibilities for your business are endless. Without improved broadband you could lose out to competition by simply not updating your website or making the most of these essential online marketing tools, you will struggle to communicate efficiently with other businesses, and technically you will be left behind, which not only effects your business but also your reputation.
Have you seen this sticker?
This Better Broadband for Oxfordshire sticker is placed onto a cabinet that has been delivered by the programme funding, when it has been fibre enabled. This means that the cabinet has gone live, and is now ready to take orders for fibre broadband with your chosen supplier.
The BBfO website publishes a list of the latest cabinets to go live, updated on a monthly basis.
For more information on why your business needs superfast broadband, how to go about getting better broadband and what Vale4Business is doing to improve broadband across the Vale and in market towns please email us.