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Have your say on broadband boost
Monday 1st July, 2013

People in Wigan Borough are being asked what they think of internet speeds where they live and work.

A major public consultation has been launched to find out where in Greater Manchester investment is needed to improve broadband access. The aim is to find out if people are happy with their internet connection or if they think it should be quicker.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) is applying for government and European funding to upgrade infrastructure to allow homes and businesses access to faster broadband. The availability of internet services and speeds vary and AGMA wants to find the areas in need of improved access.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council and chair of AGMA, said: “Investing in our internet infrastructure is essential if we are to meet our ambition for Greater Manchester to be one of the world’s top 20 digital destinations by 2020. Reliable, high-speed broadband access is increasingly important for homes, businesses and public services. It can have an economic impact and help people connect with vital public services.

“However, the availability of broadband services and speeds vary significantly. This public consultation is designed to ensure we understand the areas that have gaps in broadband infrastructure and are eligible for public investment. We are asking for comments on the proposed target areas so we can make sure the provision of superfast broadband is more widespread.”

With the help of information from broadband suppliers, AGMA has created maps which illustrate areas where superfast broadband infrastructure, and basic broadband infrastructure, does not currently exist and where commercial providers do not intend to roll out such a service within the next three years.

The consultation aims to verify the information provided in these maps so that public funding can be used to provide the necessary infrastructure. The proposed investment means once delivered, the majority of businesses or residents wanting to take up a superfast broadband contract will be able to do so, regardless of where they live.

To find out more and take part in the consultation visit: www.tfgm.com/GMBroadbandConsultation. The closing date for responses is Thursday 1st August 2013.

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