Conservatives press for Bath broadband action

Conservative councillors have called for action to deliver faster Broadband internet connections in Bath.

They city’s Conservatives have said they are worried that Bath is being left behind as other cities invest in ultrafast broadband and are pressing B&NES council to treat the issue as a higher priority.

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

Conservatives have raised concerns that the council’s vision of boosting Bath’s economy with new high-tech and creative industries could be in jeopardy if it does not act to secure similar broadband investment for the city. They have pressed the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet to work with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and set out plans to deliver ultrafast broadband in the area.

Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Cons, Lansdown) said:

“We were very disappointed that Bath missed out on the latest round of Government funding to deliver ultrafast broadband.

“With places like Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, York and Brighton all investing in ultrafast broadband, it’s vital that Bath isn’t left trailing behind our competitor cities. Fast, reliable broadband connections are crucial to securing the new high-tech and creative industries we want to see establish themselves in Bath. This kind of infrastructure investment and new technology is essential to growing our local economy.

“Conservative councillors are therefore calling on the council to work urgently with the Local Enterprise Partnership to draw up a Broadband Plan which will deliver the ultrafast broadband speeds so many other places are now getting.”