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1 April 2012, 09:28
Nearly 13,000 people in Norfolk have already signed up to the campaign to bring better broadband to the county and today is the last day you can take part.
Norfolk County Council started the sign-up campaign in January in order to demonstrate the demand that exists in Norfolk for better broadband. This comes ahead of the County Council starting the process in April of finding a private sector partner to invest in the council's Better Broadband for Norfolk project and install the necessary infrastructure in the county to bring superfast broadband speeds to as many properties as possible.
The County Council is now urging those who haven't yet signed up to do so today.
Ann Steward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Norfolk County Council, said: "It really is crunch time now. Next month the process of finding a private sector partner for the Better Broadband for Norfolk project begins in earnest. We need as many 'yeses' before then as possible to make investing in the project an attractive proposition and to enable us to get the most competitive bids, which ultimately will mean a better deal for Norfolk and more properties connected to superfast broadband.
Please, if you have meant to sign up but haven't got around to it, make time this week, it only takes two or three minutes. And if you can give us one final helping hand and remind your friends, family, colleagues, staff and customers to say yes, that would be fantastic. The more people who say yes now, the more Norfolk homes and businesses will get superfast broadband from next year onwards, it really is that crucial."
Since January, people have been able to fill in a form to 'say yes' on a dedicated campaign website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/sayyesnorfolk as well as ring the council's customer service centre to register their interest on 0344 800 8023. Registration forms are also available in all 47 Norfolk County Council libraries and on its fleet of mobile libraries, and roadshow teams have visited busy locations across Norfolk.
People will still be able to register their interest after today, and the Say Yes website will remain online. However the council says that in order to influence the process that will see companies bidding to become the council's partner, and ultimately determine how many homes and businesses are connected to superfast broadband, it is important that people register by today. After this date, any yeses received will still help inform the project, with work to install the broadband infrastructure due to begin early next year and the first services becoming available shortly afterwards.
The Better Broadband for Norfolk project aims to provide superfast broadband in as much of the county as possible and ensure a 2 megabits per second (Mb/s) service is available as a minimum across the whole of Norfolk, so that everyone who wants access to broadband can have it. Without the project it is estimated that around 60 per cent of Norfolk's population would still not be able to access superfast broadband in three years' time.
For more information about the Say Yes campaign and to register your interest, visit the website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/sayyesnorfolk. All Norfolk County Council libraries have broadband-connected PCs which are free for the public to use.