See how LCC is prioritising broadband internet access

In January 2012 Lancashire County Council launched a project to examine current internet connection speeds across Lancashire and, in particular, access to superfast broadband. The project, known as Superfast Lancashire, also looked at any aspects of social exclusion related to current provision and future expansion of provision.

Using census data to assess access

Lancashire assessed access to the internet in terms of physical access via the appropriate infrastructure, technological access in terms of IT know-how and skills, and basic skills in terms of reading and costs of access.

They examined:

  • physical access by looking at a map of internet connection speeds by postcodes and making comparisons against aspects of the 2010 indices of deprivation

  • technological access, basic skills and cost issues by using Mosaic – an area classification using census data

  • demography data derived using 2011 Census data.

Using census data to identify priority areas

This project, in association with others, will drive forward three further priority projects:

  • Rural Lancaster (which will focus on older people)

  • Wensley Fold area of Blackburn with Darwen (which will focus on unemployed and economically inactive people)

  • South Beach in Blackpool (which will focus on social housing tenants)

In order to identify priority areas, Lancashire CC used 2011 Census data from ONS in conjunction with Mosaic Public Sector data release in 2012, which itself uses 2011 Census data. The census data used included households, household composition, age, tenure, employment, first language and qualifications at LSOA and ward levels.