Conservative Council drives new Wiltshire-wide IT initiatives

Conservative Wiltshire Council has launched a four year Wiltshire Online programme to roll out superfast broadband to a minimum of 85% (possibly up to 95%) of premises across Wiltshire. 

The project, backed by £4.66m in Government funding, aims to provide broadband access to areas that currently cannot get access to superfast broadband, or even standard broadband in some cases. Rural areas are in particular need of support and through this project, in which Wiltshire Council has invested £16m, communities and businesses will have better access to the internet. 

Wiltshire Council has joined forces with South Gloucestershire Council and Swindon Borough Council, on a joint contract to carry out this major project to make it more attractive to potential bidders and keep costs down for all three councils. The total investment across all three councils in £23.35m

Wiltshire Council is also launching a new volunteering initiative in Salisbury and Chippenham to help get more people online and confident in using the internet.

The Wiltshire Online team is extending its digital literacy scheme to these two areas following a successful pilot launch in Melksham earlier this year.

To get the project up and running in Salisbury and Chippenham the council is recruiting volunteer digital champions who can help people learn the skills they need to get online.

Wiltshire Council’s deputy leader, John Thomson, said: “Following a very successful launch in Melksham we’re now looking for volunteers who can champion the use of the internet in Salisbury and Chippenham.   We estimate that there are around 68,000 people in the county who have never experienced the benefits of the internet and this is something we want to change.”

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