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Faster broadband wait for parts of Suffolk set to continue

Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter
Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter

More of Suffolk is set to benefit from fibre optic broadband –but some areas will have to wait longer than hoped for faster connection speeds.

The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, a partnership between Suffolk County Council, BT and the Government, aims to create a broadband network “fit for the 21st Century” and was launched 16 months ago.

The county council had said they were committed to providing all premises in Suffolk with speeds of at least 2Mbps by the end of this year, with at least 85 per cent getting over 24Mbps.

However, due to further investment for fibre broadband after the commitment was made, a new contract has since been signed.

Although this means more of the county could benefit from 24Mbps [ speeds, some areas, including Wortham and Burgate, may have to wait until 2018.

The Diss Express reported last month how the clerk of Wortham and Burgate Parish Council had written to BT chairman Sir Michael Rake, complaining about broadband speeds in the parish.

Some residents have connection speeds of less than 0.5 mbps.

The parish “is not expected” to benefit from faster speeds from the first Better Broadband contract. According to a Suffolk County spokesperson, the council did not want to spend public money on a “interim solution” before returning again to install superfast broadband.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The Wortham and Burgate area suffers from not having a cabinet nearby, so is not set to benefit from our first Better Broadband contract, which will see 85 per cent coverage overall by autumn this year.

“However, we do expect to cover the area with the new contract which will get us to 95 per cent coverage by 2017/18. We continue to work with BT on the details for the new roll out programme; we hope to announce further details later this year.

Stephen Rash, parish council chairman, told the Diss Express: “To use an old phrase it is a bit ‘jam tomorrow’.

“There is little we can do about it but it is disappointing that we are at the end of the roll-out for extra-fast broadband.

“The parish is not unique. I would imagine there are other isolated villages in this situation. The means of our parishioners are no different to anyone else in the country.”

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