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Faster broadband helps ease frantic festive shopping in Worcestershire
FASTER broadband across Worcestershire has lessened the stress of festive shopping for people living in rural areas.
During the summer, a £700,000 rural broadband pathfinder scheme brought superfast fibre broadband to people and businesses across the county.
The areas of Little Witley; North-West Malvern Consortium – comprising the parishes of Bockleton, Kyre, Hanley, Rochford, Eastham, Lindridge, Mamble and Bayton; the Redditch Travel Arc Consortium – comprising the parishes of Tibberton, Crowle, Hanbury, Stock and Bradley and Feckenham were the first to benefit, with the faster broadband scheme being rolled out to other parts of the county in the new year.
As a result shoppers in the pilot areas who previously had bad connections were able to browse online shops for Christmas presents and either purchase them online or reserve them to pick up in store another day with ease.
Mark Martin, of Tibberton, near Worcester, said shopping on the high street often led to disappointment when trying to buy his children’s gifts.
He said: “In the past we’ve had to take time off work to go Christmas shopping but this year I spent an evening sitting down with my wife while we chose our children’s Christmas presents and reserved them online.
“Then one of us popped out to pick them up knowing that they were waiting for us. It was that easy.
“Quite a change from being jostled by crowds only to find that the things our children wanted most had sold out, which has happened in past years.”
People have also been able to use the internet to keep in touch with relatives and friends across the world by having a good enough connection to use Skype, Facetime and Google sites with enable users to have a video link as well as voice.
Councillor John Campion, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for transformation and commissioning, said: “The speed of internet connections is a critical part of success in today's ever-faster and more competitive market place.
“It is fantastic to see the real difference that we knew this would make to local people's lives and for our local businesses.”
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