Congrats Leominster, Ludlow and Tenbury Wells

The Rural Regeneration Programme run by one of those hated RDA’s has given out £200,000 to Worcester-based Airband Community Internet Ltd to provide high speed coverage across towns in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Hopefully the new LEP’s will be able to have access to the same or similar funding in the future for other rural areas like Banburyshire, a rural community surrounding Banbury and currently part of five RDA’s.

the full announcement can be found here:

High Speed Rural Broadband becomes reality as new pilot launched at RRZ Conference

AWM website

You need to read “After RDAs: Look before you LEP”

David Bailey in his Birmingham Post BusinessBlog has a very good discussion on what we all need to think about before we jump into replacing the RDA’s


After RDAs: Look before you LEP

By David Bailey on Jul 12, 10 11:10 PM in Economics

As days go by we begin to learn more about what the coalition government, now two months old, has in mind in terms of economic development across England.

Leave aside the fact that London can carry on as usual, along with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where there is no change to their development agencies. We’re talking of course of the English regions, or rather what replaces them.

What do we know so far?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) that will replace the RDAs will, it seems, have to fund their own running costs, with LEPs bidding into a central pot of some £500 million a year (a quarter of what the RDAs had to work with).

And after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles won out in a Yes-Minister style Whitehall Turf War with Business Secretary Vince Cable, popular RDAs in The North East and West Midlands won’t after all be able to continue. They’re being scrapped, lock, stock and barrel.

As I’ve said in earlier blogs, that’s a mistake as there is much expertise in RDAs like Advantage West Midlands (AWM) which could be used to join up the work of sub-regional LEPs.

And even if a LEP’s territory actually maps that of an old RDA, sadly much of the RDAs’ former work will head back to Whitehall anyway.

…… the rest is here:

Should it disappear I have saved it here ……

pdf After RDA’s look before you lep pdf

Wonder if the Coalition can do this for rural UK


In Healthcare IT News


Broadband grant to create IT, telehealth jobs
July 07, 2010 | Bernie Monegain, Editor

WASHINGTON – When President Obama announced on July 2 a $795 million government program to develop broadband access in rural parts of the country, it meant an additional 5,000 jobs up front, he said.

Some of those jobs – though the administration did not pinpoint how many – will be in the healthcare IT and telehealth sectors. Obama noted that among the beneficiaries of the government award would be 900 healthcare facilities.

The investment will support 66 new Recovery Act broadband projects nationwide that, according to the grantees, will not only directly create approximately 5,000 jobs up front, but will also help spur economic development in some of the nation’s hardest-hit communities, helping create jobs for years to come. ……..

For the rest go here…

a retweet from via

Where we should be going as a minimum

Looks like the Finnish are way ahead of us, they have come up with a new law making 1Mbps the minimum for all now and 100Mbps by 2015.


Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband internet access a basic legal right for all its citizens.

Under a new law which comes into force today, telecommunications companies in the country are obliged to provide all citizens with broadband lines capable of speeds of at least 1Mbps. The Finnish government has also promised the entire population will have 100Mbps connections by 2015.

While broadband coverage in the UK sits at just 73 per cent, Finland is already one of the most connected countries in the world, with as much as 96 per cent of its five million population having internet access. Just 4,000 homes still need to be connected to meet the requirements of the new law.

Finnish communications minister Suvi Linden said the legislation reflected the fact that the internet was no longer a privilege but rather part of everyday life across all strata of society.

“Internet services are no longer just for entertainment,” Linden told the BBC. “Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access.”

The country’s new law does create a problem enforcing proposed European Union anti-piracy laws, however, which would allow for piracy offenders to have their internet connections cut off. To get around the issue, the Finnish government says it will send letters to suspected offenders.

“We will have a policy where operators will send letters to illegal file-sharers but we are not planning on cutting off access,” Linden said.

In the UK, the roadmap to provide internet access – and in particular access to high-speed broadband services – around the country has become an increasingly high-profile debate, and was a major campaign issue in the recent general election.

The Digital Britain Report lays out the Government’s commitment to provide all homes in the UK with access to web connections of at least 2Mbps by 2012 – though it isn’t guaranteed it by law.