29
May
2013
|
00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

New web site unveils Suffolk broadband roll-out

A new website indicating when areas of Suffolk will start to benefit from better broadband will be unveiled at the Suffolk Show today. 

Local residents and business owners will be able to go online to learn more about plans for better broadband across Suffolk and when they can expect to receive faster speeds in their local area. 

The website, jointly-created by Suffolk County Council and BT provides: 
● An interactive map of Suffolk showing visitors the latest information on the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme. Regular updates from the programme will be posted online and as new coverage areas become ready to be built, the map will be updated. 
● A line checker so that people can find out the current status of the exchanges near them and when it is likely to be upgraded for fibre-based broadband . 
● An information hub for the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, including news, answers to frequently asked questions, videos and case studies. 

Launching www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com, Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, said: 
“Initial planning and survey work is well underway and we’re now heading into the delivery phase of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme. So I’m delighted to be able to share with people more details about when and where faster broadband will be rolled out. 

“By the end of 2015, Suffolk County Council is committed to ensuring that every property in Suffolk will have access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps and 85% of homes and businesses will be able to get speeds of 24 Mbps or above. That’s something we are incredibly proud to be making happen. 

“The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme was set up to improve broadband access for everyone. Things are really starting to happen now.” 

The new fibre-based broadband infrastructure in Suffolk will revolutionise access across the county with more than 300 new cabinets being installed in Suffolk by the end of this programme. It builds on BT’s own commercial plans for fibre broadband, which aims to provide faster broadband for around 200,000 Suffolk homes and businesses. 

With 13,000 people having registered an interest in getting better broadband, and an increasing number of public enquiries each week, it is hoped that the website will help people plan for an improvement to their broadband access. 

Dave Hughes, BT’s regional director for the East of England said: “There has been a great deal of hard work taking place behind the scenes and by the end of 2013 we will be in a position to get this service to the first people in Suffolk under this programme. The website is a vital resource for the people of Suffolk showing them the very latest information on the programme.” 

In total, over £40 million is going to be invested in Suffolk's broadband network over the next 15 years. Suffolk County Council and the county's seven district and borough councils are collectively investing £11.68 million in the programme, matched by £11.68 million from Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £18 million from BT. 

ENDS 

Notes to editors: 

Launch details: 
Who: Councillor Mark Bee (Suffolk County Council leader), Peter Aldous (MP for Waveney), Annette Thorpe (Regional Partnership Director, East of England, BT) 
What: Launch of www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com 
Where: Suffolk County Council stand (760) at the Suffolk Show, Trinity Park 

Why: So that residents and business owners can find out when they will benefit from faster broadband speeds as part of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme 
When: 14:00, Wednesday 29 May 2013 
Interview, filming and photography opportunities available. Speak to Andrew St Ledger. 


Better Broadband for Suffolk programme 
The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme is a partnership between Suffolk County Council and BT to create for Suffolk a broadband network fit for the twenty first century. 

By the end of 2015, Suffolk County Council is committed to ensuring that every property in Suffolk has access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps. The project will also build on BT and other providers’ existing commercial investment in the county to provide superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ to 85% of homes and businesses. By March 2014, all properties in the Waveney Local Enterprise Zones will have access to Superfast Broadband (24Mbps+). Homes and businesses across the county that are harder to reach with a fixed fibre line will be connected using alternative broadband technologies. 

In total, over £40 million is going to be invested in Suffolk's broadband network over the next 15 years. Suffolk County Council and the county's seven district and borough councils are collectively investing £11.68 million in the programme, matched by £11.68 million from Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and £18m from BT. 

Suffolk County Council and BT signed a contract on 21 December 2012, creating a partnership for the organisations to work together to revolutionise broadband access in Suffolk. 
BT’s network is open to all internet service providers on an equal, wholesale basis, ensuring Suffolk’s homes and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market, in turn bringing greater choice and affordable prices. 

Delivering the project will help local businesses grow, improve educational attainment and remove a major block to public service transformation in Suffolk. Suffolk County Council estimates that public sector organisations will be able to achieve £49 million of efficiency savings within 15 years as a result of better access to broadband, that local economy will grow by £2 billion and 1,500 jobs will be created.