This report was created for the community website, the Hebden Bridge Web, with support from the Simula project, Bradford, to provide a digital profile of the area - originally to assist the campaign for broadband for the town. The impetus and activity caused by the profiling work resulted in BT dropping the trigger level for the exchange and enablement of the exchange for ADSL was announced as the report was being compiled. Although the original aim was achieved by the process, the profiling work done is highly valuable for establishing potential channels to encourage the digital growth of the area.
Work on the profile questionnaire began in late March 2003 and the results collated by early May.
The report itself consists of:
- A brief description of the background to the profile and the methodology for the process.
- A description of the area providing insight into the outputs of the report. This offers largely qualitative and observed material.
- Key factors and outputs relating to, and resulting from, the questionnaire data and its analysis.
A summary of the conclusions and recommendations from the report follows on the next page. These reflect the revised target for the report.
The appendices give
- graphical views of the data for easy interpretation
- written feedback received to open questions put to business/work users
- a reference copy of the questionnaire, marked up to illustrate variants that were distributed/published on the web
A spreadsheet containing all responses to the profile questionnaire is held by The Hebden Bridge Web, Simula, The javalounge and by Mark Harrison of MHA IS Ltd as author.
The digital profiling exercise suggested
- a strong desire within the community to engage with the process of broadband delivery for individual and community benefit.
- a real requirement for additional education and support on digital issues.
- a deep underlying trend of homeworking and micro-business activity in the area
- that there are at least 400 to 500 micro-businesses and homeworkers active in the Hebden Bridge area
- a need for education in the business potential of digital services and applications.
- that the more visible and established businesses in the area would benefit from support in engaging with developments in digital services and applications for business.
- That a vehicle is created to provide a channel for funding for educational and business growth support in digital services and applications and for the development of these
- That this vehicle is community based and led, and is a not-for-profit NGO
- That the organisation should be established as a co-operative or membership company limited by guarantee
- That the organisation should offer services as a community VISP for local loop broadband
- That the organisation should provide an aggregative community portal and forum, enhancing and supporting existing community projects, services and businesses and should not extend its remit to compete with existing locally based digital services
- That the organisation should campaign for, and facilitate, extension of broadband availability to neighbouring areas that are currently without broadband service
- Formation of a steering group for development of the community ISP concept (meeting of initial steering group will be held on 12 May 2003)
- Holding of a public meeting to gauge interest in, and support, for the concept (will be held on Tuesday 20th May at Hebden Bridge Tourist Information Centre).
Formation of formal organisation and investigation of grant aid for seed funding from appropriate funding bodies.