Places available on broadband summit

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A summit on broadband provision taking place in Chichester this month has spaces available for interested members of the public and local businesses.

Organised by Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert, together with West Sussex County Council, the summit takes place on Friday May 20 at County Hall, West Street Chichester, from 11am.

The County Council has been lobbying internet service providers to help get faster broadband in West Sussex and tackle the ‘not spots’ where people are unable to get broadband at all.

The keynote address at the summit will be given by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, who has responsibility for broadband policy.

Other speakers include Chairman of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership John Peel, Managing Director of BT Next Generation Access Bill Murphy, and local community representatives.

County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Economy Deborah Urquhart said: “Fast, reliable broadband is essential for our businesses and residents. Two surveys carried out by the County Council have shown a need for investment to improve the county’s broadband infrastructure.

“We want to do all we can to enable better broadband coverage in West Sussex, and the summit is an ideal opportunity to bring businesses and community organisations together.”

Speaking ahead of the summit, Nick Herbert MP said: “We are less than 50 miles from London and yet parts of rural West Sussex have no broadband coverage at all, while many areas have slow speeds.

“Poor broadband holds back local enterprise and disadvantages rural communities. We need to get West Sussex better connected, first of all ensuring that everyone has access to broadband, and then bringing superfast speeds to as many people as possible.

“I hope that this summit will provide an opportunity for interested parties to help find a solution for the county.”

Spaces are available for the public and local businesses on a strictly first come first served basis. They must be booked in advance by sending an e-mail to nick@nickherbert.com with contact details (name, address and telephone number).