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9 February 2015, 07:20
The Government's rollout of superfast broadband has now reached more than 180,000 homes and businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk figures published today reveal.
The rollout is delivering superfast access - internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps - to those properties not covered by existing commercial networks and is on track to take superfast access to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.
Norfolk has the highest reach in the East, with 119,096 properties with access. In Suffolk 65,915 properties have been reached.
The UK already leads the EU "big five" nations when it comes to superfast access and take-up and the programme will ensure it stays ahead.
A spokesperson said: "Government recognises the importance of a fast internet connection to individuals and businesses alike, and its £1.7bn investment in the rollout is a key part of the Government's long term economic plan."
Around 80 per cent of the UK already has access to superfast speeds, and the rollout is currently reaching an additional 40,000 homes and businesses every week.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Today there are two million more UK homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband than there were two years ago as a result of this ambitious project. This is a tremendous result that is already making a huge difference to millions of people. We want everyone in the UK to be able to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, that's why we've begun work on reaching the last five per cent of communities not covered by existing plans."
A spokesperson added: "Faster broadband is a catalyst for economic growth, and its estimated that the Government rollout will result in the creation of 56,000 more jobs in the UK by 2024. Superfast broadband will be pivotal in driving profits for local businesses, and rural economies are set to benefit by around £9 million every day due to the work being done now."
Project partners BT Openreach are now rolling out the fibre-optic cable at maximum speed, with great progress to date in each area of the East of England.