Ironbridge Hotel bosses welcome PM pledge but say too little too late for businesses
18th November 2015
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The Best Western Valley Hotel have welcomed a pledge by Prime Minister David Cameron to connect the whole of the county to broadband by 2020.

However, it’s feared the promise could be too little too late for businesses who are trying to grow and keep up with competitors.

Owners of the Best Western Valley Hotel Lesley and Phil Casson are currently in the process of investing thousands of pounds on a new speedy internet system because they feel the rollout of superfast broadband is taking too long.

Lisa Snape, sales and marketing manager for the hotel, said: “Whilst we very much welcome the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to connect the whole of Shropshire by 2020 and the efforts being made as a business we just can’t wait this long.

“Guests, particularly business clients, assume a good internet connection in the same way as they do running water.

“Most people when they book a room don’t even ask about internet connections or Wifi because they just assume it is available. It is an expectation, a given.

“Wifi is currently available in all 44 bedrooms here at the hotel and the connection speed is another aspect of our service that we wish to exceed our customer expectations.

“They want to be able to download or stream videos easily and carry out important work functions.

“Here in Ironbridge we already feel way behind the rest of Shropshire let alone other parts of the country and can’t help feeling that things need to move more quickly so rather than waiting for the superfast broadband roll out to reach us we have decided to take action and invest in an alternative solution.

“We are currently exploring all available options but the project is likely to cost us in the region of £10,000 and we are hopeful the new line and equipment will be installed early in the new year.

“We may well be located in rural Shropshire but it’s paramount to us that we can provide guests with services that are on a par with any metropolitan hotel and that includes an internet connection which is speedy and fit for the 21st Century.

“David Cameron is right - access to the internet is a necessity , like gas, electricity and water.”

The family run hotel was among one of the first Best Western hotels to offer free Wifi to all guests and has been providing internet access in every bedroom for the past three years.

Connecting Shropshire, a stand-alone organisation set up to deliver fast internet, says it has connected 40,000 homes and businesses so far and soon hopes to connect a further 20,000.

Mr Cameron claims 95 per cent of homes will be connected to superfast broadband by 2017.

Telford MP Lucy Allan, who has campaigned for better broadband in the area and recently attended a business networking event at The Valley Hotel, said in her recent Parliamentary speech: “Connecting Telford, as well as many other constituencies across the country, is vital for business, jobs and growth.”

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Mark Luckman

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I champion the best businesses in Telford and Wrekin, businesses recommended by you. If you run a local business or know a really great local business that you think deserves to be known by more local...

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