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Suffolk: Europe blamed for delay in broadband signing

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 September 2012

EU regulations have been blamed for a delay in signing a broadband contract for Suffolk

EU regulations have been blamed for a delay in signing a broadband contract for Suffolk

Archant

FINAL agreement for work to bring superfast broadband to all parts of Suffolk has still not been agreed by the government – because of EU regulations.

It had been thought that today’s county council cabinet meeting, which will award the contract to introduce broadband to communities across Suffolk, was the final hurdle in the battle to bring in broadband.

However the government funding for the scheme, coming from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), has still not been finalised because it is subject to EU competition law.

Suffolk county council leader Mark Bee raised the issue with the Prime Minister at a Downing Street reception. He was hopeful that the issue would be sorted out in October, allowing work to start on schedule in November.

Mr Bee said: “We had expected the government money to be all signed off well before now so the cabinet would be the last stage in the process after which we could say with certainty ‘all systems are go.’ However there is still this delay with the government money. It is now way above the level of the Department of Culture – it is a Prime Ministerial matter because it involves money and the EU.”

Today’s cabinet will award the contract to introduce broadband to all parts of Suffolk to BT after the only other bidder, Fujitsu, told the EADT that it had not pressed ahead with the bid it had been considering in the early summer.

Two people have been arrested after a double stabbing at a bungalow in a quiet cul-de-sac in the Westbourne area of Ipswich.

Two people suffered the effects of cold after their dinghy capsized in water off Wrabness, near Harwich.

The manager of an Essex pub that has been banned from holding outdoor music events due to noise complaints has spoken of the “ongoing battle” staff have faced with neighbours and councillors.

A former Suffolk Sea Cadet instructor who was given a suspended prison sentence after he had sex with a 15-year-old girl has been locked up for six months after he broke a court order banning him from having unsupervised contact with any other young girls.

Arthur Scoffield cried when he watched Saving Private Ryan at the cinema. The horrific realism of war depicted by Steven Spielberg perhaps got the better of the proud old Ipswich soldier.

The mother of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague says she would rather be “waiting for a phone call than not” despite the agony of what news from the landfill site means.

A campaign aiming to raise £40,000 towards the creation of a law centre in Suffolk has received a cash boost from two companies.

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