Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Businesses demand faster broadband

11:32 19 September 2012

David Burch, Director of Policy, Essex Chambers of Commerce

David Burch, Director of Policy, Essex Chambers of Commerce

Archant

BUSINESS leaders in Essex are calling on the council to keep pace with neighbouring counties in its bid to roll out superfast broadband.

Essex County Council is being urged to “pick up its game” with broadband provision, especially in rural areas, to help kick start economic growth.

The calls come after Suffolk announced it is set to award a £40million contract to BT to bring broadband to all parts of the county. BT is also set to be named as the winner of a contract to provide similar services in Norfolk.

Essex County Council (ECC) “Superfast Essex Broadband” plan was approved by central Government in July and is currently asking residents to register their interest.

Areas with the most residents registered will stand a greater chance of being selected as one of the first areas for upgrade.

However, last night ECC could not reveal when a partner would be appointed to deliver the scheme.

Iain Wicks, development manager for the Essex Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Suffolk seems to be very proactive. Essex County Council needs to pick up its game and understand that businesses must have adequate broadband provision.

“We have bits and pieces over the county but it’s very disjointed and that’s the key thing they need to be leading on - linking it all up.”

His views were echoed by David Burch, director of policy at Essex Chamber of Commerce.

He said: “Broadband is essential for businesses whether they are large or small so it’s vital we get it rolled out as quickly as possible so we are urging ECC to move forward with this.

“There are companies like BT who are more than capable of delivering what ECC is looking for so quite why it’s taking so long to come forward I really don’t know.

“A lot of trade is done online and with the Government encouraging businesses to do more and more online, such as tax returns, our members would say effective broadband is essential.”

An ECC spokesman said: “Essex County Council recognises how important broadband is for the economic growth and for residents of the county. We submitted our local broadband plans prior to the deadline expiring and we are working with the Government to secure a partner to help us deliver the scheme.

“Essex, like all other local projects, have a 2015 target to deliver superfast broadband to 90% of the county with all premises receiving basic broadband service. Essex is still on course to deliver its targets.

“Our broadband survey has received 1,923 responses to date.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

0 comments

New Ipswich Audi dealership is taking shape

New Audi dealership at Futura Park takes shape

Alex Pattenden, managing director of Unity Online.

Suffolk digital marketing company Unity Media Eastern has rebranded to become Unity Online, in a move designed to help it to meeting growing demand from the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.

A MRS grab at the Port of King's Lynn, similar to five which have been purchased by Associated British Ports for use at the Port of Ipswich.

Associated British Ports (ABP)has invested more than £160,000 in five new MRS cargo handling grabs for the Port of Ipswich, to help handle an increase in the trade of dry bulk materials.

Melissa Abbott of Muntons who has been appointed national vice chairman of the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry supplier’s' association (BFBi).

Melissa Abbott has been appointed national vice chairman of the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry suppliers’ association (BFBi), the first time this role has been held by a woman.

The launch of the Suffolk Black Minority Ethnic Business Awards at the University of Suffolk, which will also host the awards ceremony in October.

The inaugural Suffolk BME Business Awards, recognising enterprise within the county’s black and minority ethnic communities, are now open for entries.

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24