The City of London Corporation, an organisation that looks after the capital city on behalf of those who live, work and visit it, thinks not enough is being done to provide superfast broadband.
According to Guildhall bosses, “Big Telecom” has not delivered for residents and SMEs in the Square Mile district around St Pauls.
Square Mile councillors are now planning to secure access to strong Internet connections themselves, claiming that BT and others were ignoring the needs of smaller firms and residents who could not justify the £500 a month fees needed for dedicated first-class connection.
“Residents and SMEs are fed up being ignored by ‘Big Telecom,’ so we have acted. The 13,500 SMEs in the Square Mile employ many people, are vital energisers of the business environment and need superfast broadband at the right price to bring growth and jobs not just to the City but also to neighbouring areas,” claimed Policy Chairman of the Corporation Mark Boleat.
“This work could have been done by major suppliers themselves but their businesses with bigger firms is too easy for them and they are just ignoring the SMEs and residents. We will provide the infrastructure to help new suppliers come into the market,” he added.
Part one of the project is already underway and aims to map superfast fibre broadband demand building by building across the Square Mile, then use this data to nudge fibre suppliers into providing connections that SMEs can afford.
The second phase will include a major upgrade to wireless voice and data services, using City Corporation street furniture and buildings for extra masts and connections, to benefit businesses, workers, residents and visitors in the area.
The news comes just a day after the government announced it has reached the fastest stage of deployment of the Broadband Delivery UK scheme.