Broadband Digital Divide in Suffolk
Plans to increase speeds across the Suffolk Costal District are being drawn up by community leaders in Suffolk, but it is not clear whether this is lobbying action to ensure the distict has every cabinet and Exchange Only line upgraded or a plan to seek new money. The BDUK project to improve speeds across the County is already underway and identifying which areas will benefit. This project has an early estimate of improving on commercial superfast coverage to make a superfast connection (faster than 24 Mbps) available to 85% of premises, there would then be an as yet range of speeds below 24 Mbps.
The local press as ever is following the changes closely and has highlighted a fact that 13% of premises in the Suffolk Coastal District receive less than 2 Mbps. Our own data suggests the situation may actually be worse with 17.8% recording a speed test of 2 Mbps or slower in that part of Suffolk.
|Ipswich District Council||Suffolk Coastal District|
|%'age at 2 Mbps or slower||7.5%||17.8%|
|%'age at 30 Mbps or faster||32%||14.1%|
|median download speed (Mbps)||18.4 Mbps||6.7 Mbps|
|mean download speed (Mbps)||24.2 Mbps||14.1 Mbps|
|median upload speed (Mbps)||1.9 Mbps||0.76 Mbps|
|mean upload speed (Mbps)||3.7 Mbps||3.0 Mbps|
The small table shows the difference between the more urban parts of a county and rural nicely, it also emphasises the importance of using the median figure from results, as those who do have superfast services in the Suffolk Coastal District are skewing the mean value.
The question really is what sort of difference will the superfast roll-out have and whether residents and businesses will value the extra speed in return for the higher cost of the service. Convincing people to upgrade in cases where significant improves are likely is the hardest job facing councils, and unless people upgrade there is not going to be any major changes to speed test analysis figures.