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24 September 2012, 15:21
A multi million pound deal has been agreed today to bring faster internet to the region.
EVERY household and business premise in Suffolk will be guaranteed broadband speeds of at least 2 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2015, and 85% will be able to access superfast coverage, it has been revealed today.
Suffolk County Council has announced that it plans to work with BT to implement the county’s Better Broadband for Suffolk programme. It means that within just three years, 9 out of 10 Suffolkproperties will be connected to fibre-based broadband and will be able to get speed increases of at least 10Mbps. By the end of next year, the entire Waveney Local Enterprise Zone area will have access to superfast speeds (24Mbps or more).
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), welcomed the news that Suffolk’s broadband provision will be given a shot-in-the-arm.
CLA East regional director Nicola Currie said:
“The process in delivering effective broadband to Suffolk has now moved a vital step forward. High speed broadband is essential not only for business but for education and re-training as well as helping communities and, in the future, providing better healthcare. Rural house prices and the ability to let rural office space are also directly affected by broadband speeds.”
A contract between Suffolk County Council and BT is expected to be finalised by mid-October 2012. The contract is expected to be formally awarded by the end of October. The first premises to benefit from the programme will do so by the end of 2012 – with the full programme being completed by June 2015.
John Dugmore, CEO of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said:
"Business has been working together and working hard to bring better broadband to Suffolk. Therefore, today’s decision by the Suffolk County Council Cabinet to select BT as their preferred supplier is the starting gun to the reality of a future modern superfast infrastructure that our economy desperately needs."
"Business large and small look forward to working with the Council and with BT to ensure firms across Suffolk benefit as soon as possible from implementation. There has to be a real intent to deliver with urgency. It remains a challenging and tough time for business and they cannot afford to wait any longer."