Suffolk & Norfolk: Broadband Campaign

11 January 2012, 13:10 | Updated: 11 January 2012, 13:27

A campaign has launched today to get thousands of people in Suffolk and Norfolk to join a drive to bring better and faster broadband services to the area.

Norfolk have launched the 'Say Yes' campaign and Suffolk the Better Broadband survey to prove how much potential interest there is in faster services.

Both counties have already been promised Government money for the project, and there has also been significant investment from the two county councils, but they still need to attract partners from the private sector to invest in the project to install in infrastructure.

Currently more than 50,000 private and commercial properties in Norfolk are in broadband ‘not spots’, either having no broadband access or suffering very slow internet speeds of less than two megabits per second (Mb/s).

Ann Steward, Cabinet Member for Economic Development on Norfolk County Council, said: “The importance of painting an accurate picture of the demand that exists in Norfolk cannot be understated. We know that much of the county cannot receive reasonable broadband speeds, and some areas can’t get broadband at all. We know that many individuals, families, businesses and communities are held back and frustrated by poor broadband access. Now we need a sheer volume of people to show they want a better broadband service so we can ultimately get a deal that means the Better Broadband for Norfolk project can get superfast broadband out to as many properties as possible.

“We really need everyone’s support on this. Some people in the county will be fortunate enough to live or run businesses in areas which already have superfast broadband available but everyone can help get the ‘Say Yes’ message out there and help Norfolk get the infrastructure it needs to put the county, its residents and its businesses in the best position for the future.

Suffolk currently has one of the poorest broadband networks in England. The average broadband speed experienced by Suffolk’s consumers and small businesses is under 5Mbps. 

Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council's leader and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, said:

"We've built up some tremendous support behind the campaign but we still need to demonstrate Suffolk's need and desire to improve access to broadband.  We want to hear from young and older people, families, teachers, nurses, manual workers and indeed every household in Suffolk.  I am encouraging everyone to take a few moments to visit our website and complete the survey. It could make the difference and is a very important part of us demonstrating the demand that’s out there.”