Taunton communities set for broadband upgrade  

Somerset Broadband Survey Launched

SOMERSET Chamber of Commerce is surveying local businesses to find out if the county’s current internet provision is hampering growth and whether slow speeds are causing problems for day-to-day transactions and operations.

Poor internet connections have long been highlighted as an issue by Chamber members and the survey, which has been launched this week in association with ultrafast broadband provider Truespeed, will help to identify ‘notspots’ and problem areas.

Businesses across Somerset are being encouraged to complete the survey which can be found on the Chamber’s website at www.somerset-chamber.co.uk. It will also be available at the next Digital Taunton event on 25 July.

The aim is to discover where the main problem areas lie, enabling the findings to be used to lobby for improvements and help businesses find solutions to their internet issues. All businesses which take part in the survey will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad donated by Truespeed.

Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “Businesses across Somerset consistently tell us that poor broadband services are hampering their business growth. “For example, we know of an architect in a large town in the county who cannot upload PDFs for clients because the broadband connection is not good enough.”

“The survey will only take about four minutes to complete and the feedback will help us get a clearer idea of where the areas are with the greatest demand.”

The survey will be open until 23 September and copies can be downloaded and completed online via the Somerset Chamber website.

Businesses will be asked what they use their internet connection for, how important reliable broadband is and how often they experience problems. They will also be asked whether they think their current broadband speed will hinder their company in the future.

Jez Allman, Sales Director of Truespeed, said: “The South West’s current lack of infrastructure leaves businesses unable to cope with increasing online demands. Businesses rely on online systems to operate efficiently, therefore, reliable connectivity is becoming increasingly important for businesses to succeed.”

“We’re thrilled to be part of the survey that aims to understand online businesses needs whilst raising awareness on how connectivity can impact the South West’s economy.”

The results of the survey will be sent to respondents before being officially presented at Somerset Chamber’s Digital Trends and Tech Innovation event at Strode College on Wednesday, 2 October.

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