ACRE and The Phone Co op working to get all rural community buildings on line
by Chris Cowcher,

ACRE is pleased to be working with The Phone Co-op to help increase the number of village halls and similar rural community buildings with a connection to broadband. The Phone Co-op can provide a start-up grant of £250.00 and there will also be an opportunity for rural community buildings already connected to compare costs with their current provider.

"All community buildings in rural areas have an important role to play whether the traditional village hall, the Church or the community pub or shop. Providing broadband for local users of the hall is vital for the delivery of a range of activities and services."

The ACRE Network is no stranger to helping to meet the needs of people in rural communities who want to get online but there is still a lot more to be done. During the period leading up to the Millennium, a number of England’s 10,000 village halls installed a telephone line in readiness for the arrival of the 21st Century and the revolution that was social media. More than a decade later ACRE’s research of 1,300 village halls indicated that only 25pc had a broadband connection, with a mixture of commercial and domestic tariffs.

Deborah Clarke, ACRE commented “All community buildings in rural areas have an important role to play whether the traditional village hall, the Church or the community pub or shop. Providing broadband for local users of the hall is vital for the delivery of a range of activities and services. We hope that committees managing buildings will take up this opportunity with The Phone Co-op”

Jacci Marcus, Head of Sales & Marketing at The Phone Co-op “We offer a wide range of practical communication solutions supported with great customer service and we work with a wide range of socially responsible businesses. We are passionate about getting a fair deal for rural communities and look forward to building the relationship and to supporting ACRE.”

To find out more and take advantage of this new initiative contact your local ACRE Network member or The Phone Co-op.