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Paper 3 - 24 September 2004 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

24 September 2004

BROADBAND DEVELOPMENTS

Report by the Head of Economic Development, Hampshire County Council

________________________________________________________________________

RECOMMENDATION

HIOWLA is recommended to adopt the following resolutions:-

(1) Members recognise the significant contribution which use of broadband technologies can make to social and economic success in Hampshire, the Cities and the Isle of Wight;

(2) Member Authorities will work closely through the Partnership Forums set up to ensure close and cross border collaboration;

(3) Where appropriate to the needs of their area, member authorities will engage in the "Broadband PPP" through direct financial participation and/or the work of their Officers; and

(4) Members will work to extend participation in the programme across all of Hampshire and the Cities, and the Isle of Wight.

________________________________________________________________________

SUMMARY

This paper reports on latest developments in Hampshire’s "Broadband Infrastructure"; and recommends active participation in the Private Public Partnership being developed by the Hampshire Broadband Forum

Some abbreviations are used in this report for the sake of brevity! A glossary is included as Appendix 2.

BACKGROUND

Applications

1. Broadband networks and usage are internationally regarded as essential components in economic, community and business development. The technology has recently been described by the Centre for Economics & Business Research as likely to have "the same impact as the introduction of mains electricity". Broadband provision will be a key component in Local Government’s provision of services and its aims for economic, social, and environmental well-being.

2. In the light of recent ONS figures on Hampshire’s performance in GDP (gross value added – see Appendix 1), it is more than ever vital that local government continues to support the development of a modern infrastructure, which meets economic and community needs!

Availability

3. The main component of current provision is BT’s network of enabled "ADSL" telephone exchanges. In November 03, BT announced a significant extension of the number of exchanges with "trigger levels", leaving only 3 exchanges in Hampshire without a trigger level. The move has to be seen in the context of the national target of 100% coverage by 2005. BT now claim that 98% of "premises" in the South East will be covered by ADSL exchanges, by 2005. However, there are still some areas which need ‘special measures’ such as Hatherden in Test Valley and Whiteley inWinchester District and discussions are underway to help increase business take-up of these services. There is also some provision through pilots being run by Scottish Southern Energy (SSE) and "wireless" companies.

4. In the public sector, the Hampshire Public Service Network (HPSN) is a key component of the infrastructure for public buildings and services.

Take-up

5. For a variety of reasons, even where "broadband" is available, there has been relatively low "take-up". Despite rapid trend increases, "take-up" still stands at less than 15% of premises where broadband is available. There is a need to work with the private sector to stimulate demand.

6. The model being used by many is that of Act Now in Cornwall where an integrated approach (albeit heavily supported by European money) has produced business take-up rates of 24% as against the estimated level of 14% in Hampshire.

7. "Broadband can change your life" was the theme of a BT/SEEDA Conference, designed to draw attention to the benefits of broadband. These can be summarised as:-

ˇ business – e-commerce, growth, improved market research and communications, e-learning, productivity
ˇ
homeworkers, teleworkers and micro-businesses (HTMs) – improved organisational efficiency (recent studies indicate 30% cost reductions and 30% increase in productivity, together with reduced pressures on traditional forms of transport)
ˇ
communities – increased sense of identity and cohesion, though there is a need, particularly in disadvantaged communities, to combat the "digital divide" with public sector intervention.

HAMPSHIRE BROADBAND FORUM

8. This (together with the IEG Partnership) is the key Forum for gaining a coherent and co-ordinated approach to Broadband issues.

9. The original partnership group has now been expanded to include:-

ˇ Local Authorities in Hampshire
ˇ
HAPTC
ˇ
Country Business and Landowners Association
ˇ
SEEDA
ˇ
Hampshire Economic Partnership
ˇ
Business Link Wessex
ˇ
Learning and Skills Council

10. Under the auspices of the Forum and funded partly by the "Implementing e-government Partnership" (IEG), a website has been set up (www.HampshireBroadband.org) to assist both businesses and communities to get objective advice and information on Broadband availability in Hampshire. Continued management and development of this site is currently being funded by the Broadband Partnership.

The Hampshire Broadband Private Public Partnership

11. A bid to SEEDA has been successful in generating funding to support the development of a far-reaching Broadband Strategy for Hampshire. Based on a private/public partnership of all the relevant agencies and suppliers operating in the field of business and community development in Hampshire, the programme will contribute to:-

ˇ Competitive Businesses
ˇ
Vibrant Communities
ˇ
Successful People
ˇ
Effective Infrastructure

12. The programme has a "Project Value" of over £2m, with partner contributions/investment (either "in-kind" or in cash) of over £1m. A short presentation will be made at the meeting.

13. A launch Conference will be held at Winchester Guildhall on the 3rd December to which members of HIOWLA will be invited.

CONCLUSIONS

14. Broadband infrastructure and usage are essential both to economic and community development in Hampshire. The rate of delivery and take-up of the technology will make an impact on many of the aims of Local Government, and it is therefore vital that the Local Authorities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight co-operate closely in bringing the benefits to our communities.

15. There is both a significant need and opportunity to take this work forward in 04/05 through the further development of:-

ˇ the Website www.HampshireBroadband.org

ˇ the Hampshire Broadband Forum

ˇ the county-based Private/Public Partnership for Hampshire Broadband.

16. Investment, now, will be repaid many times over in terms of:-

ˇ economic benefit
ˇ
partner participation
ˇ
community involvement
ˇ
additional funding leverage

JOHN REES-EVANS
Head of Economic Development, Hampshire County Council

Date: 13 September 2004
Annexes: 2 (Annex 1 available on request)
Contact: John Rees-Evans tel: 01962 846628 email: john.rees-evans@hants.gov.uk

Appendix 2

GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

ADSL

Asynchronous digital subscriber line (basic broadband service)

Bandwidth

A measure of the amount of electronic data that can be transmitted, either down a telephone line or through an individual radio channel. 

Broadband

A network connection which allows large amounts of data to be transferred at high speed.  Broadband is delivered in a variety of ways, most common being by leased lines, cable modem access or ADSL.  Other solutions are becoming more widely used in rural areas using wireless communications and satellite.

Cable Modem

Device used for delivering Broadband over a television cable network.

DSL

Digital Subscriber Loop.  A technology that enables higher bandwidth communications to be passed through conventional telephone lines.

DSL

Digital Subscriber Line

DSLAM

Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer

HPSN

Hampshire Public Services Network – Broadband for public services, e.g. local authority to local authority and County

GDP

Gross Domestic Product (“value added”)

HTMs

Homeworkers, teleworkers and microbusinesses

IEG

Implementing e- government

ICT

Information & Communication Technologies (same as ‘IT’)

IP

Internet Protocol

ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network. An international communications standard for sending voice, video and data over digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires.

ISP

Internet Service Provider

Leased Line

A point to point connection which can deliver guaranteed bandwidth.

ONS

Office for National Statistics

PoP

Point of Presence – a physical location in a telecommunications network from where services to end users or to a subsidiary network can be provided.

PSTN

Public Switched Telephone Network

RAB

Regional Aggregation Body – A body set up by the dti to look at ways of co-ordinating public sector broadband demand.

SDSL

Synchronous digital subscriber line (‘full scale’ broadband service)

SEEDA

South East England Development Agency

VoIP

Voice-over Internet Protocol

VPN

Virtual Private Network, (e.g. HPSN).

WLANs

Wireless Local Area Networks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last update: 14/09/2004
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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