(Article courtesy of Keighley News, first published Thursday 24th April 2014)
Representatives from a variety of organisations attended a meeting to try and address the problem of slow internet speeds in parts of the Worth Valley.
They were responding to a campaign led by community action group Fibre Valley, which has been pressing for better broadband for this area since 2011.
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins was at the gathering on April 15. He had helped arrange the attendance of those groups who are in a position to influence where investment in superfast broadband is targeted.
Also present were representatives from the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, BT Openreach and Superfast West Yorkshire, the body administering nearly £24 million to be spent on installing faster broadband connections in the county.
Ken Eastwood, of Fibre Valley, said,
“It was a very useful meeting, and I’m grateful to Kris for getting everyone together.”
“We now know that if we leave it to market forces, Stanbury is unlikely to get superfast broadband. BT Openreach is going to look at how much it would cost to lay fibreoptic cable from Haworth to Stanbury and then come back to us.”
“There is an appetite for finding an alternative solution for Stanbury, and it may be possible if we’re creative with using other sources of funding.”
Mr Hopkins said there were still complex challenges to overcome in order to supply fast broadband to communities currently struggling with an inadequate service.
“Hopefully, as a consequence of this meeting, we can start moving things forward,” he said.
“For example, we have the school in Stanbury, which has the best possible fibreoptics right up to its doorstep, but for some reason this isn’t accessible to the rest of the village.”
He added such is the demand for fast, reliable internet, some businesses are willing to pay more to have access to it.