Wroxham Barns lambs demand better broadband for Norfolk
The woolly new arrivals at a Norfolk tourist attraction have become unlikely champions for our Better Broadband campaign – by proving they need an upgrade just as much as their rural neighbours.
Children visiting Wroxham Barns during the half-term holiday have been enchanted by the newborn lambs at Junior Farm, which are all the smallest of triplets from local farms.
They are expected to consume more than 5,000 litres of milk during their daily bottle-feeding sessions until the end of July.
Plans are under way to extend the youngsters' relationship with the animals by setting up 'lamb cams' so visitors can follow their progress online via the Wroxham Barns website.
But one potential hold-up is the lack of a fast internet connections – which is also hampering many of the other shops and craft businesses on Tunstead Road in Hoveton,
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That is one of the reasons Wroxham Barns director Ian Russell said he was backing the Say Yes to Better Broadband campaign, jointly run by the EDP and Norfolk County Council.
'The lambs generate enormous interest and people who have visited here want to return virtually to see what they are doing,' he said.
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'Our 'lamb cams' are going to be streaming live footage of the lambs to our website and we are also working with the RSPB for a 'swallow cam' from our best boxes. But we have real concerns about the reliability and quality we can achieve because of the poor broadband service we get out here.
'I think this campaign is vital if we are going to maximise the potential that's in front of us. We have a rose business here, a model railway company, apple juice and cider makers, clothes, woodturning and our own online pantry.
'These businesses can grow; there is invention and creativity and the ability to develop customer relationships with visitors. All we need is a better broadband service.
'We are talking about traditional rural jobs and preserving crafts. It is ticking every box and the only way we can look forward to all these businesses thriving is to make sure we get decent broadband.'
nThe Better Broadband for Norfolk project hopes to bring superfast 30Mbps download speeds to as much of the county as possible by 2015. The Say Yes campaign aims to prove the commercial demand which will tempt private investment in the scheme. Norfolk residents and businesses can sign up at www.norfolk.gov.uk/sayyesnorfolk, or by calling 0344 800 8023.