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.