At its breakfast meeting on 6 December, the New Forest Business Partnership (NFBP) discussed the issue of broadband coverage in the New Forest. The discussion was informed by a survey carried out by NFBP of the local business community regarding satisfaction with broadband provision in the area.

The survey showed that 74% of businesses stated their broadband service was ‘unsatisfactory’ with 100% of respondents stating broadband as either ‘Very important’ or ‘Important’ to their business.

In light of the above findings and the recent announcement of the Rural Communities Broadband Fund, a Brand New Forest Broadband Project Group, supported by NFBP has been established. The aim is that both the business and residential communities can both be engaged in tackling this crucial issue.

A meeting has therefore been arranged in liaison with the Association of Local Councils Broadband Focus Group for Tuesday 10th January 2012 at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber, New Forest District Council, Appletree Court Lyndhurst.

The purpose of this meeting is twofold; firstly to identify the potential for promoting New Forest applications to the Rural Communities Broadband Fund and, secondly, to coordinate a coherent message to political decision makers in the New Forest that Broadband is of critical importance to the local economy and community.

If you wish to attend this meeting please confirm to me via e-mail on matt.callaghan@nfdc.gov.uk by FRIDAY 6 JANUARY 2012.

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