In February last year the ITS Technology Group agreed a landmark deal in April 2014 to manage a super-fast fibre optic network in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. In a pioneering move we chose to become the first council in England to let out the underground ducts through which the authority’s CCTV network runs. All 10 miles of it.
Cllr Greg Smith, then the Deputy Leader of the Council was responsible for the initiative. He is now the Conservative Group leader. The deal means a new source of revenue to the council – it will bring in £160,000 in the next financial year. I hope the Labour council leader remembers to send him a thank you note…
Furthermore providing money for the Council is not the only benefit. As the report last year set out:
- “The indirect benefits will be that the bidder will improve the broadband connectivity speed and coverage for residents in the borough (Fibre to the Home).
- Creation of new jobs by helping small business to thrive and also attract new businesses into the borough. Businesses will have easier access to the network and faster internet connectivity, (the improved fibre coverage of the utilisation of the duct asset will provide this). The bidder intends to sell to local business at affordable prices, to enable easy access and better connectivity.
- The bidder will also enable connectivity to multi dwelling units (MDUs). As LBHF have fibre to and running past many MDUs, the bidder will be able to easily provide fast internet connectivity to many people.
- Registered social landlords will also be able to offer broadband services to tenants as part of their accommodation package. The landlord will be able to include connectivity as part of the rental agreement. This would prove beneficial for example in student accommodation.”
Labour are boasting about how caring they are being – for instance cutting Meals on Wheels fees at a cost of £70,000 or scrapping Home Care fees at a cost of £324,000. But they don’t add that they can only afford these changes thanks to the sort of initiatives brought in by Cllr Smith.