Suffolk: Framlingham, Aldeburgh, Leiston and Wickham Market among latest towns to benefit from new superfast broadband

Mark Bee and Therese Coffey at the new Mark Bee and Therese Coffey at the new "Head End" in Saxmundham watched by local district councillor Sir Peter Batho and local county councillor Michael Gower.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
12:47 PM

The programme to improve broadband speeds across Suffolk has reached a new milestone – with 25,000 properties now having access to a high-speed connection.

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At the forefront of the latest improvement is the coastal area, thanks to a new high-tech “head end” installed in Saxmundham.

This should allow faster broadband speeds to be delivered to nearly 5,500 properties in communities across the area, including Framlingham, Aldeburgh, Leiston, and Wickham Market.

The head end was made to order in China and is one of three that will eventually be installed across the county as part of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.

Just 32 weeks since the first green roadside cabinets were switched on, residents and business owners in more than 1,900 postcodes – about a quarter of those set to benefit from the programme – can now order the new broadband technology.

Suffolk County Council has committed to ensuring that by the end of 2015, every property in Suffolk has access to broadband speeds of at least two megabits per second (Mbps) while 85 per cent of homes and businesses will be able to benefit from superfast speeds (24 Mbps or more).

County council leader Mark Bee, who is also chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, said: “Giving more than 25,000 properties access to faster broadband in just eight months is a significant achievement and clearly demonstrates the great things to come from the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.

“We’re now making significant inroads into more rural parts of the county – precisely what we set out to do when we launched Better Broadband for Suffolk.

“I’m tremendously proud of what we have achieved and look forward to seeing the rollout completed by the end of next year.”

The improvements do not mean broadband speeds will automatically be speeded up to properties – businesses and householders will have to contact their broadband supplier to get them to speed up.

Dave Hughes, BT’s East of England regional director, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that so many people in Suffolk are already seeing the benefits of this programme.

“This investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create and protect local jobs in communities like Aldeburgh, Leiston, Saxmundham, Wickham Market and Framlingham and also across Suffolk.

“It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey said: “I welcome the enabling of this key exchange as it opens up many more homes and businesses in rural Suffolk to switch up to superfast broadband.”

Annette Mason-Gordon from the Heritage Coast Market Towns Initiative (HCMTI) said improvements to broadband speeds were badly needed.

She said: “I’ve been out today in Badingham where the broadband speed was terrible – you can’t do anything! I haven’t heard about any improvements, but if things are now being speeded up that is good news.

“This sounds exciting – the kind of thing that is really needed in this area. What is now needed is to get the message across to businesses and households, to get them to get their speeds improved.”

9 comments

  • T Doff - you can buy fibre broadband from most ISPs not just BT. Zen offer very good value fibre packages as an alternative to BT

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    jakeb

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • There is no point in changing from bt to another provider as BT is the wholesale provider. In Rendlesham we have an excellent wireless system, 32 Mbit, no line rental and VoIP broadband phone. I will stick with that, works fine.

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    toad007

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • Last year in Dennington we considered it a cause for celebration if our broadband got past 2 meg, now we are in central Ipswich we get 106meg, what a difference 15 or so miles makes.

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    John Woodcock

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • There are lots of shiny green cabinets around where I live, but they are, unfortunately, no use to me, as the only people so far to offer high-speed are the monopoly installers themselves, BT. No other ISPs have hooked up yet, and I have no intention of changing back to a company who charge you a penalty surcharge for paying them!

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Businesses in Saxmundham are still struggling with copper connections and are being told it will be some years before their connection gets updated. BT are only concerned in connecting residents to their BT Sport offering.

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    essenen

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Despite all the beaming faces, it's a shame that most of Saxmundham High Street have "exchange only" lines so the many businesses there won't be able to benefit from this in the near future. Hopefully BT will pull their finger out and get these sorted asap.

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    jakeb

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • There is no point in changing from bt to another provider as BT is the wholesale provider. In Rendlesham we have an excellent wireless system, 32 Mbit, no line rental and VoIP broadband phone. I will stick with that, works fine.

    Report this comment

    toad007

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • All a waste of money. Want fast broadband? Go live in a city or large town, probably overseas if you want really fast broadband at a reasonable cost. 24mbps (when you can get it) isn't future proof. In 10 years the same rural places will be moaning when the standard is 100-150mbps in the towns (cable is already around about there) and 24mbps doesn't cut it when your household or business has multiple users or devices accessing the internet at the same time. ADSL3 isn't far off but implemented ethernet or fibre connections is more logical. Rural users should be paying more for broadband anyhow, its a lot of investment to connect very few people up.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • I don't know about the other places but Framlingham already had very fast broadband through their local community provider, FramBroadBand, which has the big plus of not needing any landline as it is a wireless system. I regularly get an actual 17mb both down and up without having to pay BT £15 a month on top!

    Report this comment

    davidsuffolk

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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