This month, I was honoured to receive a national volunteering award from Prime Minister David Cameron. This is in recognition of my volunteering work on broadband, including support to Connecting Cambridgeshire and helping residents in my local community with broadband issues and to get online.
After my online broadband guides on my village website became hugely popular, I set up the Increase Broadband Speed website to help people across the UK to improve their broadband speeds. The site has already been visited by nearly a million people.
I am the Broadband Champion in my local community, where take-up of superfast broadband reached 40% within a month of fibre broadband going live earlier this year. Already, most households subscribe to superfast broadband.
About the rapid take-up in the first month, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “With more than 40% of households in the village already connected to the new superfast broadband network that the Government and Connecting Cambridgeshire is rolling out, Spaldwick is one of the best connected communities in the UK and much of this is down to all the hard work put in by Mark.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said, "I am delighted that the Prime Minister has acknowledged the incredible contribution Mark has made, and continues to make, through his volunteering work in Spaldwick." Ed Vaizey is shown below on a recent visit to Spaldwick, alongside senior BT, BDUK and Cambridgeshire County Council officials. Spaldwick is currently a case study for the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, and you can read more about it by clicking on the following link:
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates said, “Congratulations to Mark on receiving this award, which is richly deserved. Mark has been a stalwart supporter of our Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband programme from the start and his achievements in Spaldwick show the important role our Broadband Champions play in helping their communities to get connected.”
Mark said, “This was a lovely surprise, and recognition at the highest level of the time and effort put in by Broadband Champions across the county, and across the UK. I hope that this award encourages others to become Broadband Champions in their towns and villages."
Readers of the Increase Broadband Speed blog will know that I consider that demand stimulation is critical, writing about the subject several times. The social and economic benefits of superfast broadband will only be achieved if people and businesses actually subscribe to superfast broadband services. Click on the links below to read related articles: