With no less than six MPs in attendance the contract between BT and Suffolk County Council was signed to improve broadband across the county. The choice of BT has been known for some months, and is one of the more ambitious coverage targets with the slowest 2% of properties expected to be able to connect at 2 to 5 Mbps, and 85% connecting at 24 Mbps or faster.
"When we launched the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, we wanted to ensure that everyone who lives and works in our county benefits. Today I’m proud to say that, with BT, we aim to deliver exactly that.
Improving access to broadband is going to help Suffolk’s economy grow by as much as 20% and create up to 5000 new jobs. There’s a digital divide between Suffolk and the rest of the country but an even more acute disparity between urban and rural Suffolk. The Better Broadband programme is going to close those gaps, boost school attainment and help the public sector to deliver services more efficiently and cheaply.
I’m delighted that we’ve come such a long way in such a short space of time. In the new year, the first properties are going to start benefiting from the programme and within three years, broadband access across Suffolk is going to be unrecognisable from what it is today.
Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk
The project should benefit some 39% of Suffolk which means 134,500 properties and while not everyone is going to get the fastest speeds it should eliminate the broadband not-spots and provide a foundation for further work after 2015 to bring the county in line with the EU Digital Agenda 2020 target of all properties having access to a 30 Mbps or faster service.