December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Community leaders are to draw up an action plan to secure faster broadband speeds for a rural area which is lagging behind in the internet revolution.
Research has shown that Suffolk Coastal has an average broadband speed of six megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the rural average nationally of 6.5Mbps.
More than 13% of premises across the district receive less than two Mbps.
It means Suffolk Coastal is 269 out of 325 for fastest connection speeds of all English councils and 108 out of 157 rural councils.
Councillors are keen to increase speeds to the whole district as quickly as possible –but particularly in remote and rural areas – and are meeting on Thursday to look at possible ideas, and then meet in November to decide the way forward.
Concern was initially expressed about the inadequacy of broadband in the district a year ago.
A council report said the committee had gathered some evidence after hearing details of the Suffolk Better Broadband plan and from local bodies.
It said: “The involvement of external speakers at this initial evidence-gathering stage contributed specific expertise on the topic being investigated, both from the perspective of a recipient of a service and of a service provider.
“It provided an opportunity for the invited speakers to link their submissions to the benefits the committee expects broadband to deliver and to describe how the solutions they proposed might deliver these benefits.”
Among those who gave evidence were Anne Page of the Wilford Broadband Group, a community body improving broadband in parts of the Wilford peninsula, including Hollesley, Shingle Street, Shottisham, and Alderton, and Gary Disley, managing director of independent company Buz Broadband Ltd.