Bath broadband plan promised ‘in the Spring’

A plan to bring broadband internet speeds of up to 100mbps to Bath is to be produced by the spring, Bath and North East Somerset Council has promised.

The pledge to deliver what is known as ‘ultrafast’ broadband in Bath has been welcomed by Conservative councillors, who have been pressing the Council on the need to ensure that Bath keeps pace with other cities which are already investing in the new technology.

It was announced last year that several of Bath’s competitor cities, including Oxford, Cambridge, York, Brighton and Bristol had been successful in their bids for Government funding to deliver ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 100mbps.

The roll-out of ultrafast broadband in other cities has led to warnings that if the Council does not act then Bath could struggle to attract the high-tech and creative industries which B&NES has put at the heart of its plans for the city’s economy.

In answer to a question tabled by Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Cons, Lansdown), the authority’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Cllr Cherry Beath, said that the council is currently exploring options to deliver ultrafast connectivity to Bath’s Enterprise Area and the wider city and that proposals will be brought forward in the Spring.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said:

“It’s very welcome news that B&NES has promised to bring forward plans to deliver ultrafast broadband in Bath. It’s crucial for Bath’s economy that the Council invests in this technology, which is key to attracting the new high-tech and creative industries which we want to see establish themselves in our city.

“At the moment there is a genuine risk that Bath will end up getting left behind its competitor cities. Places such as Bristol, Oxford, York and Cambridge are already investing in ultrafast broadband and have plans in place to deliver internet speeds of 100mbps, essential for a successful knowledge-based economy. At the moment there is a danger that Bristol will dominate West of England area and draw all the new jobs and investment.

“This is why Conservative councillors have been pressing B&NES to produce a broadband plan for Bath which keeps pace with these improvements taking place in the rest of the country.”