PEOPLE living in some rural parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands could soon get a better connection and increased speed to the internet if permission is granted to extend a signal mast.
An application has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council by John Goodwin of Internet Central Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Goodwins Plc, of Leek Road, Hanley, to strengthen an existing mast situated to the south east of Upper Cadlow Farm, The Casey, Winkhill.
A design and access statement submitted of behalf of the company by Mr Goodwin said: "To meet the increased need for broadband internet we propose to strengthen the existing mast.
"Our intent is to strengthen the 15 metre mast on the same base by installing a stronger low profile unstayed lattice construction mast.
"The original design and foundations will be modified such that this remains a free standing low profile.
"Internet Central Ltd now wishes to offer wireless broadband to the surrounding area.
"The mast already carries internet and radio paging data, but this strengthening will allow increased bandwidth using licensed links to Mow Cop, and thence to the MANAP internet exchange in Manchester.
"The existing mast is a low visual impact structure located on the ridge of The Casey Road where several far more substantial masts already exist, but were installed post our original application.
"There are no domestic houses in the nearby vicinity that would be affected.
"The strengthened mast would have small antennas for internet usage."
The statement said that the area is considered to be of "low population density" and would not be considered viable for Superfast Broadband funds or upgrades under the current Government scheme.
Completion of the mast renewal would enable the roll out of superfast broadband with speeds up to 40Mbps to areas in the nearby vicinity, and 24 Mbps to a far wider area where currently connectivity is only around 2Mbps.
It is considered that with greater use of the internet, more people will be able to work from home and that greater video conferencing by business utilising broadband will cut down on transport and travel, thus making significant savings on C02 from lower transport fuel usage.
It is also considered that through community internet portals, housing and business communities can form a better social and care relationship, especially for those who are elderly or disabled.
At last week's meeting of Ipstones Parish Council, whose area the application comes under, councillors raised no objections to the application as they felt that the new facilities would be an asset to businesses and residents.