The Internet is an essential part of creating a successful modern business, but the chief executive of Sussex Enterprise is concerned that many local firms are struggling because of poor broadband speeds in the region. Mark Froud announced that improving Internet connectivity will be one of his organisation’s main targets for 2012, along with cutting unnecessary red tape in local government and improving training opportunities for the unemployed.
Although Sussex Enterprise may seem to have set their sets high, their first aim has already been given a financial boost by West Sussex County Council (WSCC), who announced plans to invest in high-speed broadband for rural areas. The UK government has already invested £6 million to improve connectivity and WSCC are to match that funding.
Lionel Barnard, the deputy leader of the council, anticipates that the private sector will also be happy to invest in a project that can only improve their own finances in the future. WSCC has set an investment target of £50 million to bring high-speed broadband to all parts of West Sussex in the next few years.
Barnard added that it wasn’t just industry that would benefit from an improved broadband connection, as Internet access can help the elderly and isolated members of the local community feel more in touch with friends and relatives. Froud welcomed news of the investment, saying that although Sussex Enterprise’s targets may seem ambitious, there was a real enthusiasm on the part of local businesses and local government to do something about the problems facing the region.