Inca launches superfast broadband ‘notspot’ scheme

The networks organisation asks individuals, businesses and communities to speak out about where rural broadband funding needs to go

The Independent Networks Co-operative Association (Inca) today launched the Notspot Registration Scheme to identify the worst served areas for superfast broadband, with the hope of redirecting public funding.

The organisation has praised the government for putting more cash into its rural broadband project, following the announcement earlier this week from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) detailing where an additional £250m would go. The figure is expected to be at least matched by local authorities to add even more money to the pot.

However, Inca has called on individuals, businesses and communities to highlight which areas are badly connected and most in need of state aid to bring superfast broadband to the area.

“Further government funding to extend superfast broadband into the hardest to reach areas is very welcome,” said David Cullen, chair of Inca and a director of the ITS Technology Group. “There are many companies and community projects eager to get involved and help deliver a truly world-class digital infrastructure for the whole of the UK.

“The Notspot Registration Scheme will identify pockets of pent-up demand, helping private sector providers and local councils direct their efforts to best effect."

People, companies and organisations can register their notspot information on Inca’s website. The information collected will be made available to alternative providers looking for opportunities to serve areas that are left out of BT's superfast broadband roll-out plans.

A spokesman from the DCMS told Computer Weekly: “We welcome this initiative as another step to help support delivery of superfast broadband. Procurement will always be a local decision, and we encourage smaller, alternative providers to contact local authorities with any proposals they may have.”

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