MPs welcome £30m boost to Suffolk broadband plan

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock

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Suffolk has become the first area in the UK to formally agree a second contract as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The county council revealed today the £30m second phase of the Superfast Suffolk partnership had made superfast broadband available to more than 10,000 households and businesses.

Dr Dan Poulter ANL-150420-125353001

Dr Dan Poulter ANL-150420-125353001

They say the rollout is ongoing and are “committed” to delivering 100 per cent coverage “as quickly as possible”.

The latest deal between Suffolk County Council and BT will see Openreach, BT’s local network business, extend superfast broadband coverage to more than 95 per cent of the county’s properties before the end of 2019.

The first contract focused on the installation and upgrading of green superfast broadband cabinets, while the second contract will deliver faster broadband through a wider range of technologies, including ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

Technologies, such as satellite, are available for Suffolk properties getting broadband speeds of 2Mbps or less where it is not yet viable to deliver fibre broadband. A new superfast broadband cabinet in Eye was the first in the UK to be delivered under the second round of the BDUK programme.

The news that Suffolk is the first area of the UK to formally agree a second contract as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK Programme is of course to be welcomed

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter

Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Broadband and Rural Issues and Localities, Cllr Jane Storey, said: “There are now around a further 115,000 properties that can benefit from superfast broadband, thanks to this programme, if they choose to upgrade.

“I am very proud that the first contract was delivered ahead of schedule, and extended fibre broadband to an additional 5,000 properties beyond the original plan.”

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said: “The news that Suffolk is the first area of the UK to formally agree a second contract as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK Programme is of course to be welcomed, alongside the commitment of Suffolk County Council and BT to provide superfast broadband to over 95 per cent of households and businesses across Suffolk before 2019.

“I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Suffolk County Council and BT to ensure the continued success of this programme.”

And Minister of State for Digital and Culture, MP for West Suffolk Matt Hancock, added: “Together with Suffolk County Council, we are investing around £70m in superfast broadband for Suffolk, and we’ve already taken superfast speeds to more than 100,000 local homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out. We know there is more to do, and the latest deal will reach 50,000 more, bringing Superfast Broadband to 95 per cent in Suffolk and give immediate help to those homes and businesses with the slowest speeds.”

Households must contact their broadband service provider in order to upgrade. To check if your property can access superfast broadband, visit www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com