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Colin Raymond attended the County Council's Broadband Conference in Uckfield.

The conference was designed to begin an engagement process with local communities, to raise awareness and stimulate demand within the parishes with a view to getting Superfast Broadband into their own communities as quickly as possible.Those attending were told that East Sussex County Council will provide £15,000,000 and the Government will provide £10,400,000 for getting us Superfast Broadband.

Colin reported to the Council as follows:

"I attended the above-mentioned conference on behalf of the Parish Council and was struck by the far-reaching importance and urgency of the Parish's situation.  It is not just a case of 'I've got all that I need' which I would suggest in most cases should be qualified by 'at the moment'.  It has even, for example, the potential to have an increasingly significantly adverse effect on both demographics and house prices.  There are implications too for mobile communications and computing as used by laptops and the ever more popular smart phones.

Sedlescombe has been at the forefront on so many occasions that it would be a travesty to lose out on this broadband opportunity for its residents.  The presenters were convinced that the opportunity was real if community engagement could be achieved.  The message I took from the conference was 'If you really want it, and go through the process, you will get it'. 

Although many questions remain unanswered I would urge Councillors to try and identify as many 'enthusiasts' or willing helpers as possible and then to arrange for a meeting with an appropriate local authority representative for detailed guidance or confirmation of the next steps.  This should be done as soon as possible.  There was some reassurance that what is required is enthusiasm rather than technical knowledge and, with the inevitable Questionnaire involved, I can see how this could be the case."