Securing better broadband for Suffolk is top of the agenda for 2014, according to the chairman of an organisation that promotes the interests of rural land owners and businesses.

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Graham Downing said firms across the county are at a competitive disadvantage because of slow internet speeds.

Mr Downing, Country Land and Business Association (CLA) branch committee chairman for Suffolk, said: “Broadband is as vital as electricity and gas and should be looked on as the fourth utility, and more progress needs to be made in order for businesses in Suffolk to flourish.

“The CLA is very concerned that despite significant funding many areas are still going to be left without workable broadband after 2015, and, as a result, we will continue to lobby Government for more support for connectivity to rural areas.”

Mr Downing also said the recent flooding had shown the importance of Suffolk’s coastal defences and the need for Whitehall to invest in them, or cut red tape so that landowners can more easily manage maintenance themselves.

“The situation is far from ideal,” he continued. “Coasts and rivers need sufficient resourcing and management to ensure the impacts of flooding and erosion are kept to an absolute minimum to safeguard rural businesses.

“In terms of food security, there is an essential need to protect an important asset for the future particularly with climate change.

“Defence of fine arable land is for the public good, and if the Government isn’t going to do it then it should be made as easy as possible for the landowner to do it, as long as he doesn’t compromise his neighbour’s land.”

Mr Downing said reform of water licences and rural crime were also hot topics.

Suffolk County Council, supported by Archant Suffolk, launched their Better Broadband campaign to improve internet speeds across the county and recently celebrated the fact 10,000 homes now have access to high speed broadband.

1 comment

  • Lots of public money goes to farmers. Perhaps some of it should be used to fund broadband in rural areas.

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    Thursday, December 26, 2013