BT and Suffolk County Council officials will appear before the authority’s Scrutiny Committee today (Thursday, Sept 26), to answer questions on the delivery of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.
The committee has called in the representatives to question them on key aspects of the programme and seek reassurances that it is on track and delivering what Suffolk residents and businesses really need.
Members of the community will also be called to give evidence to the committee.
By the end of this month, the £40 million Better Broadband for Suffolk programme will have made it possible for 2,500 properties to connect to superfast broadband - three months ahead of schedule.
And by the end of the year, some 10,000 properties will have had their internet access transformed. By the end of the programme in 2015, 100,000 properties will have been connected.
The committee will seek more information on:
Plans to implement the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.
What progress is being made.
The extent to which the programme recognises rural broadband need.
Value for money.
How the county council is planning to improve access to its own services in light of improved broadband access.
A key line of questioning for BT is expected to be the extent to which the PLC is improving services in its own, identified, commercial areas, separate to those being funded by the public sector.
Both county council and BT representatives are expected to be challenged on how much information on the rollout schedule is being made available to the public.
Councillor James Finch, chairman of Suffolk County Council’s Scrutiny Committee, said: “Suffolk needs better access to broadband, and quickly.
“The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme is critical for the future economic prosperity of the county, which is why the Scrutiny Committee wishes to look at it in detail.
“We’re interested in making sure the programme is focused, on target and delivering what Suffolk really needs. We also want to ensure as much information as possible is being shared with the people the programme is intended to benefit.
“We will be asking the tough questions that need to be asked, but in doing so we want to help the programme to deliver the benefits that Suffolk needs as soon as possible.”