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Suffolk: BT to win £40m contract to wire up county for super-fast broadband

14:06 17 September 2012

Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council

Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council

Archant

TECHNOLOGY giant BT is set to win the £40million contract to bring broadband to all parts of Suffolk, the EADT can reveal.

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The only other bidder has pulled out of the race to bring super-fast internet to the county, and it means the company is now expected to roll-out services over the next two years.

It is a major step forward in the push for better broadband in Suffolk. Earlier this year, more than 12,000 homes and businesses registered for the EADT-backed campaign to demonstrate the appetite for it.

The broadband programme is expected to see most properties in Suffolk get a minimum speed of 5Mbps by early 2015, and for properties in towns to get a minimum of 15-20Mbps, rising to much higher figures as technology allows.

Currently, speeds in rural areas can be far lower – hampering both businesses and household consumers.

BT, which has its research and development centre at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, had been one of two bidders – along with Fujitsu – for the Suffolk contract.

However, a spokesman for Fujitsu told the EADT at the weekend: “We are not bidding for the Suffolk contract.”

That means BT is due to be confirmed as the preferred bidder at a special meeting of Suffolk County Council’s cabinet next Monday, at which the contract is to be unveiled. BT will also today be named as the winner of a contract to provide similar services in Norfolk.

Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils have been working together on their broadband bids – but officials have always emphasised they are separate bids and they have never ruled out engaging different broadband providers. There were substantial differences between the BT and Fujitsu bids.

BT always planned to bring superfast broadband “to the box”. Fibre-optic cables would carry broadband to mini-exchanges serving small numbers of customers – with the final section over existing copper cables to homes and businesses.

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6 comments

  • ...puts on his pedant hat... bunny 2shoes...3GB is 3 thousand million bytes per second, which is a massive amount...considering the maximum speed of ADSL2+ is actually about 11000th of that I reckon you probably mean you have only 3Mbps. Coe Webb...1mb is not the same as 1Mbps which is probably what you get at home. 1mbps would mean that it would take you 1000 seconds to download one bit of information...or in real terms, around 761 years to download a 3 Megabyte song and I don't think your internet is that bad. And Jakeb, what application in a rural business requires 10Mbit+? Are they hosting servers out there or TV stations? 10Mbps is quite a lot and most applications on the internet don't need that. And if they do they generally pay for it... ...end of pedantic rant...

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    George

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • I just cannot get excited about this. High speed 100mb is a pipedream (excuse the pun). We cannot get 20 mb in business premises in Needham Market and in our home village we get under 1mb and I am advised there is no timetable for the exchange updgrade. this all makes us look third world when we have the innovators (BT) based in our own county. The council(s) need to get a grip and get things clarified for us all. If there are no plands for BT to upgrade excahnges then we are no further forward.

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    Cob Webb

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • 1.76Mbs here is my average in rural Mid Suffolk. I won't bother to mention coverage of 3G mobile (or lack of)!. By way of comparison South Korea is a force which should be acknowledged where 100 Mbs is commonplace in urban areas and 8Mbs in rural areas.

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    Steve Blake

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • George - we have 3 x 4Mbits broadband lines bonded together which gives a true 7Mbps 1.6Mbps connection after loses. We have 4 remote users and transferring files over VPN is slow and VOIP just about works. I would also like to backup all our servers to cloud servers off site. If we don't get better connectivity we will move somewhere which has it which will mean a building up for rent, and 13 less people spending money at the village shop, pub, garage etc. This is where it will hit the rural community

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    jakeb

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • BT should be providing proof they can actually do this!! We have been waiting a month to be connected to Fibre Optic.....we have had 3 "appointments" and been asked to wait in for BT Openworld engineers and on all three occassions nobody has shown up and we havn't even been called to cancel, nothing! Its a discrace and BT couldnt care less! How are they possibly going to manage to do this by 2015. BTW I am in ipswich and my current speed due to the state of the line is less than 3GB....so its not just the rural areas that have problems! I hope the council address timescales in any contract they give BT and make sure they are penalised for not meeting them!

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    bunny 2shoes

    Monday, September 17, 2012

  • Oh marvelous! I can't see this being particularly good news for rural businesses that get a "reasonable" connection but need 10Mbit+. It's probably never going to happen other than via some string and chewing gum wifi solution.

    Report this comment

    jakeb

    Monday, September 17, 2012

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