A new toolkit is being developed by Herefordshire Council and the UK Information Technology Association (UKITA), to help businesses understand how high-speed broadband can make them more efficient, save them money and help them grow faster.
The county is set to get faster internet services over the coming years. Herefordshire Council is a partner in the Borders Broadband project, a government and local authority-funded initiative to bring high-speed broadband to rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
Faster broadband can save firms time and money with online communications. It can speed up business by being able to quickly send and receive large files, and it offers more flexible working and reduced travel costs.
As well as producing the new business toolkit, UKITA is running a series of events (see below for details) to highlight the potential benefits of using internet services over faster broadband, using case studies and demonstrating how the internet can be used.
Andrew Corbett, membership development director of the UK IT Association said "Herefordshire is really taking the lead here. This is the first time in the UK that we have seen an initiative to carry the message of business transformation through next generation access broadband to even the most rural businesses.
“The challenge is to create not just the technical infrastructure but also the ambition through meaningful case-studies to enable business transformation and world-competitiveness."
Councillor Graham Powell, Herefordshire Council’s broadband champion said: “We are working hard to bring faster broadband to Herefordshire, but our businesses need to recognise that as well as providing opportunities for them to become more efficient, it will also offer their customers better access to a wider range of possible providers and may put their order books under pressure.
“In our recent survey almost all businesses recognised the importance of faster internet, but they will need to make the most of it to keep, and expand, their market share. This is an ideal opportunity for them to think about what they need to do to keep ahead of the competition.”
The UKITA events are FREE and will run from 5-7pm, with light refreshments provided, on:
• March 29th - The Talbot Hotel, Leominster
• April 2nd - The Peterchurch Centre, Peterchurch
• April 4th - The Falcon Hotel, Bromyard
• April 18th - The Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford
• April 19th - The Feathers Hotel, Ledbury
• April 24th - The Burton Hotel, Kington
• April 26th - The Chase Hotel, Ross on Wye
Places are limited so businesses are required to book a place by contacting Nadine Kinsey on 01432 260706 or Elaine James on 01432 260609. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org and put ORB Project in the subject box.