broadband activism in askham
Rory, attended a broadband meeting at Askham village hall on Saturday to discuss community action and the benefits of superfast broadband with residents of Askham, Helton, Bampton and the surrounding area. In a meeting convened by newly-elected District Councillor and local broadband champion Mike Slee, Rory discussed the ways in which communities can get involved in the roll-out of superfast broadband, as demonstrated by community groups such as the Northern Fells Broadband Group and Great Asby Broadband. Speaking to a packed hall, Rory offered to support residents and suggested ways in which they might come together and form a local broadband group.
Rory said: “The turnout today was very, very encouraging. There is clearly a lot of knowledge and expertise in the Askham area, and a huge desire to improve internet access for all. The community needs to gauge demand and try to raise awareness of the importance of getting superfast broadband into our villages; then, they should form a group to investigate the options available to them. Several groups have already formed in Penrith and the Border, and all are very willing to share their knowledge with any new community groups wishing to form. The inkspot of interest is spreading, which is great news.”
Rory also met on Friday with manager Angela Richardson of the Grow IT! in Eden project, an exciting new initiative funded by UK Online and based at Penrith’s Eden Rural Foyer. Rory offered his
support to the project and has pledged to try and obtain donations of unused IT equipment from local businesses. He said: “The Grow IT! In Eden project is an excellent initiative, and has a natural home in the Eden Rural Foyer, where there is already a great cyber cafe. Enabling local broadband champions with the tools and resources to spread the word and educate about the benefits of broadband is of crucial importance to make sure that we are delivering superfast broadband to
a receptive and knowledgeable audience.”
The project will raise awareness of IT and the uses of the internet by identifying and training local digital champions to educate about the advantages of broadband. The project will be launched on Tuesday 24th May from 4-5pm at the Eden Rural Foyer, Penrith, and there will be taster sessions on the same day from 5-6pm and on Thursday 26th May from 1-6pm.