ANOTHER REPLY FROM SARAH NEWTON MP – SHE IS MONITORING THIS FEED – 13.02.14
Below is a letter Roseland Online has sent to Sarah Newton MP. We’d be grateful of any constructive comments on this which Sarah might be able to use to help support her campaign for UK Government funding for Superfats Broadband for Cornwall. Please read and add your comments below.
Mark David Hatwood – Roseland Online Founder Editor
I hope you’re well.
We have heard you’re championing the cause for funding for Superfast Broadband (SFB) for Cornwall (as part of BDUK) and wanted to give you some local Roseland facts to bolster your case.
As you may know, I (Mark Hatwood) Roseland Online’s editor (South Central Cornwall’s online community voice) and Martin Edwards have been the go-between for the Superfast Broadband Cornwall team BT and the residents of the Roseland for the rollout of SFB here.
With careful negotiation and working amicably and collaboratively together with the various parties, we’ve been able to get the allocated 80% coverage increased to a whopping 95%. The main exchanges of Portscatho, St Mawes and Veryan are already benefiting from this new service and today BT have advised us that the full 95% coverage plan is now fully costed and budgeted for delivery to other smaller Hamlets on the Roseland by the end of the 2nd Quarter this year.
For reasons of ‘cost and budgetary constraints’ this plan sadly does NOT include the last 5% of people and businesses on the Roseland and whilst we are delighted to have achieved the 95% our remit is to continue to negotiate a full 100% in the future.
Included within this 5% figure are many businesses (E.g.: Nare Hotel, Cornwall’s Cottages, Trethem Mill, Roundhouse Barns, Mein Karne, etc.) and prominent individuals who play and key and vital role in our fragile Roseland economy. As we write this email BT and the SFB team have confirmed that they have NO plans to allocate any form of SFB service to these businesses and individuals and as things stand at the moment they will be without any SFB connection in the future unless extra funding from the UK Government is made available to BT and the SFB team now!
We have heard that there has been a recent discussion about BDUK in the commons and we’re keen to make sure Cornwall (and especially the Roseland and South Central Cornwall) sees a large chunk of that funding allocated to them to enable these Roseland businesses to have access to SFB in the future.
To date, although Cornwall has enjoyed an early switch-on for many residents and businesses, this has all been done through EU and private (BT) funding, so in truth Cornwall has yet to take any money from the UK government coffers for this infrastructure.
Another £10-20m could see up to 98% here get switched on and we all know how important that is four the local economy, especially where many businesses are allowing their workforce to work from home these days. As an added benefit this would ensure business men and women (and therefore their families) could live here rather than London, bringing valuable resources into our schools, businesses and communities.
In short, on behalf of the residents we, would like to formally ask you to push extremely hard for this funding to become available. We will share this with residents here (who include a member of the House of Lords who may be able to add weight to your campaign) and ask them to post their thoughts on this on Roseland Online (for which I, Mark, am the editor) , so they can be used as further support for the campaign. We will let you know that link once it’s live so you can monitor the feedback.
We will as a courtesy also advise our local Councillor Julian German who has helped us in the past at a local level with Cornwall Council who regrettably, because of their own cuts, don’t have the necessary funds to support the funding required for this enhanced SFB service.
As we continue to work together on this we know that the ‘Rural Economy’ on the Roseland will be greatly benefited as more and more farms, businesses, business people and individuals have access to this new service. The original European funding allocated to achieve this aim is sadly now spent.
Thank you in advance for your continued support in this matter and in the mean time, we send my best regards,
Mark & Martin
Thank you for choosing Roseland Online
Mark David Hatwood FRSA
Roseland Online is a not-for-profit community enterprise. All profits go back into the community
__________________SARAH NEWTON MP Replies 12.02.14_______________________
Dear Mark and Martin,
Thank you for your recent email.
I appreciate you taking the time to write to me to update me as to your efforts to secure superfast broadband for all properties on the Roseland.
I very much share your commitment to securing 100% coverage and am grateful to you for all your efforts. As you are aware Cornwall Development Company’s Superfast Cornwall programme was intended to connect 95% of Cornish households, like you I am pushing for the vital final 5%. I believe that this is achievable.
I met with Nigel Ashcroft of Cornwall Development Company only last week, and raised with him my own concerns regarding the households and businesses that are concerned that may miss out on superfast broadband. I did discuss a number of important businesses on the Roseland with him and was assured that Superfast Cornwall was aware of their economic importance, and would be making every effort to connect them.
I have also obtained assurances from Government that Cornwall will be able to bid into the Government’s additional £250,000 BDUK fund. The transcript of this assurance, received in the House of Commons, can be found here:http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-01-30b.987.3&s=speaker%3A24948#g987.4
When speaking with the Cornwall Development Company I have made clear to them that I would be delighted to support any application to this fund and have encouraged them to let me know if any such application well in advance so that I can make effective representations. I have Ministers to provide the Cornwall Development Company with clarification as to how and when an application should be made.
I will continue to work closely with the Cornwall Development Company , and other partners, on this.
You may also be interested to learn of a new technology, developed at Goonhilly Satellite Station, that could provide superfast broadband to Cornish households not currently able to access fibre optic broadband.
Avanti Communications, who own and operate the satellite Hylas 1 from Goonhilly, have now teamed up with broadband providers Hybeam Ltd to provide a superfast broadband service delivered through satellite communications. More information this service can be found http://www.hybeam.co.uk/
I hope this is of interest.
Thank you once more for taking the time to write to me, please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you at the current time regarding this important issue.
Mrs Sarah Newton MP
__________________SARAH NEWTON MP Replies 13.02.14_______________________
Sarah has asked me to pass on her thanks for uploading her reply onto Roseland Online – she was really interested to read the comments. She will be responding further to those comments in due course and would be very grateful if you could consider uploading this further response so as to continue the dialogue.
With thanks again and kind regards,
Chief of Staff to Sarah Newton MP
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THESE REPLIES? Comments welcome below.