Focus on Oxfordshire broadband

4:25pm Thursday 23rd September 2010

By Chris Koenig

OXFORDSHIRE’S ‘digital future’ will come under the spotlight this weekend at a conference called OxOnline 2010: Connecting Oxfordshire.

The Euro MEP for the South-East Region, James Elles, will join communication minister and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey on Saturday for the event at the Culham Conference Centre, organised by Oxfordshire Economic Partnership (OEP).

David Doughty, chairman of the partnership, said: “This digital summit is the first step in a campaign to make sure the county is hardwired into the nation’s digital future. There will be a series of events involving local authorities and planners, culminating in a formal strategy round about the middle of next year.”

He added: “Planners need to know exactly how to instruct builders and developers to install fibre into all new developments.”

According to experts, only about a third of the county has a better than 50 per cent chance of receiving the next generation ADSL by 2015 — and rural areas more than five miles from a BT exchange are most likely to be ignored. At present, mobile signals often fail only a few miles from Oxford city centre, and broadband is “patchy” at best in many areas, according to Mr Doughty.

To book a place at the conference, email d.doughty@oep.org.uk.

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