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Suffolk residents and businesses broadband survey time
Tuesday 15 November 2011 13:27:25 by Andrew Ferguson

Suffolk is the latest County Council to be seeking input from those within the county via a survey, only by standing up and making your voice heard will the spending of some £45m be able to be targeted at the right parts of the county. The £45m is a mixture of BDUK funding, council money and private investment.

Suffolk has a population of 715,700 with only one third living in the larger towns, the rest spread across the county. The ultimate goal for the Better Broadband in Suffolk project is to offer typical speeds of 100 Mbps to everyone (100%) by 2020. Currently one fifth of premises (60,000) get less than 2 Mbps and some lines in Suffolk do not support any broadband service at all.

The aim is that by 2015 around 85 to 90% of premises will have either FTTC or FTTP available, with a county-wide coverage of fixed wireless broadband (though some areas may still use satellite broadband). Those getting 2 Mbps and under should all get more than 2 Mbps by 2015. The five years from 2015 to 2020 should see further deployment of fibre solutions and 4G/LTE to take access speeds higher.

Around one in eight premises in Suffolk already have access to the Virgin Media fibre/coax hybrid network in parts of Ipswich, Newmarket and Felixstowe.

The situation in rural Suffolk is demonstrated by the hotel that hosted the launch of the survey, the Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa which apparently uses a satellite based broadband service currently. A little research indicates the hotel is around 3.5 miles by road from its closest telephone exchange, and if it was to install a fibre service of its own, the costs would be around £1,700 a month for a 30 Mbps business service.


Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 5 years ago
Not another time wasting survey...
Posted by kremmen over 5 years ago
It's not all bad here - my local exchange is switching it's FTTC box on soon :D
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
simple case of the communities shouting the loudest getting the subsidies... those that don't won't get support or rolled out to in the near term.
Otherwise might as well stick up a map of Suffolk on the wall and use some darts to choose funding locations.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Also it is a way of a council seeing whether a few very vocal voices in a county represent the wider view, that spending £45m on broadband is worth it.
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
My old Suffolk village is still a 250kbps notspot, while 5 miles away, the smallest 'Town' in the UK (manningtree)gets fibre, but at a few yards over the border it's Esex!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
Cont.... Fed up with waiting for BT.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
Surely the case for public subsidy is to benefit economic growth, and principally that means the SME business sector, notwithstanding the PR hype for the public's consumption. Sorry but I can't see the economic case for subsidising an alternative TV delivery service or even gamers. Sure enough the services will also benefit households, but that's incidental (although good political capital).
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
The Staffordshire survey started in June this year and as yet there is no information about the outcome and indeed it is still possible to take the survey!!!

Emails to the Broadband Survey information address go unanswered.

My hamlet (not even a village) has (as requested) provided the information on our pitiful (non) connection speeds but there is a wall of silence which doesn't bode well.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago

I think that your village committee or whoever did the request, needs to make the written request as part of a release under the FOI act 2000. Staffordshire County Council will then be required to acknowledge receipt of the request. Whether they release information is another matter.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@PhilCoates, also try and get the local press interested. Sometimes a good local journalist can get things moving.
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
I should say that we haven't just sat on our ar*es waiting for something to happen but have written to the MP and the leader of the council etc.

As someone who has had to deal with FOI requests in the Health service in the past, I tend to leave this until last as they are a complete ballache and can take up a huge amount of time that would better be spent on implementing a rural broadband rollout plan!!
Posted by JHo1 over 5 years ago
@Mervl, the "S" in SME goes down as far as one man bands working from home / a shed. Many small businesses are located in the country as it is the only place where they can afford the rent. Such connections also permit working from home, which benefits the "ME" part of the TLA not to mention society at large by keeping traffic off the road and other such benefits.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Tuesday was full of people complaining about the cost of the commute to work, how many of these people were actually sat at a desk all day?

Also the surveys usually ask both business and home questions. A council can see a benefit in terms of lower running costs if more interaction with council tax payers is done online.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
As a "home worker" myself, I appreciate all this. I used an office link on a 1.5Mbps/0.25Mbps 3G link.But money doesn't grow on trees and procurement in this country can be horrendously expensive with overheads and "abortive" costs. So the real issue, as with everything, is rationing when there isn't enough to go around. And how many office workers are expected to have face to face contact with a manager/supervisor/boss, whether or not necessary?
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
m0aur - have you checked via sam knows what exchange you are on as Manningtree exchnage coveres around 4000 premises including some over the stour in suffolk -- many be worjt finding out
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
Tavistock - surversy wil assist in defining intervention area and if that is well defined that can clearly shorten the procurement cyle as the ask is much clearer
Posted by t99del over 5 years ago
The investment should be on making the existing slow connections faster, giving these 60,000 rural connections the ability to connect at atleast 8Mb, but we all know that when it comes down to it the investment will be made on the existing fast conccections to make them faster.
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
@t99del:The investment will occur in areas where profits are highest. These areas tend to remain the same so, yes, over time they get faster and faster.

It has nothing to do with 'making fast connections faster'. It's just that the fastest connections are always in the most profitable areas.

If you don't like that you can set up your own telco company but it won't last long if you target the least profitable areas first :)
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