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Suffolk County Council consults residents on broadband

Monday, March 19th 2012
Residents in Suffolk are being urged to give their views on super-fast broadband plans.
Suffolk County Council consults residents on broadband
Suffolk County Council (SCC) is set to consult with residents and businesses over plans to boost super-fast broadband coverage in the area.

Locals can give feedback on the requirements and priorities of the initiative, which ultimately aims to bring download speeds of 100Mbps to everyone across the county by 2020, reports the Bury Free Press.

According to the local authority's figures, more than 25,000 businesses and 750,000 people call Suffolk home and all could potentially benefit from the ambitious broadband project.

Almost 60,000 properties in Suffolk currently receive speeds of less than 2Mbps, considered by the government to be the minimum requirement for broadband.

Under the Better Broadband for Suffolk initiative, the one-fifth of residents who cannot access a 2Mbps connection will be guaranteed speeds of more than that figure by 2015.

Some £45 million will be spent on the rollout, with around half of this amount set to come from the council's own budget and central government, while the remainder will be generated through private investment and other sources.

David Ruffley, MP for Bury, said the local authority is keen to "put down a marker that Suffolk is willing, ready and gagging for the opportunity to get on with the most important bit of infrastructure in this county this century".

MP for Waveney Peter Aldous added that the plans could spark a rural renaissance across Suffolk.

"We're at a serious crossroads with a great opportunity to deliver significant growth, jobs and prosperity to the people of Suffolk," he commented.

SCC has previously sought the opinion of the public with regard to its broadband strategy by launching a survey that asked respondents whether they were interested in receiving super-fast broadband.

A similar poll of businesses was carried out before the consumer survey and had attracted around 900 responses by the end of this January.

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