Boost for Suffolk’s drive to deliver fast broadband to every house in the county
Suffolk is to get an extra £3.9million to boost the county’s attempt to bring broadband to more properties as the current scheme has been more successful than anticipated.
The extra funding is coming from BT which is working on Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) projects across the country.
More people have taken up the technology than had originally been expected – more than 20% of properties in Suffolk that can take broadband have taken the opportunity to sign up.
That has triggered a clause in the contract meaning more money is available.
The money is being made available to the county council to reinvest in providing further superfast broadband coverage to more homes and businesses earlier than originally planned.
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The county council is working with BT to obtain the extra money and decide how it could be used to extend coverage throughout the county, targeting many of the properties in hard to reach places.
County council leader Colin Noble said: “This cash injection into the roll out programme is great news as we pass the 20 per cent take up for high speed broadband in Suffolk.
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“This money will help us to maintain our current momentum in getting communities across Suffolk switched on.
“We are on course to hit our target of reaching 100,000 properties by the end of this year and entering our second agreed contract with BT to deliver even more coverage in 2016 and beyond.
“We are committed to reaching 100% of properties by 2020.”
He reminded householders: “It is important for all residents and businesses to understand that where high speed broadband service is available, they must contact their service provider to make the switch. It is not an automatic process.”
Steve Edwards from BT said: “The fibre broadband roll-out is a real success story, and we’re delighted to be able to share that success with Suffolk by making £3.9 million available to help connect some of the hardest to reach homes and businesses.
“The open network which we’re rolling out brings real choice to communities and this is helping to drive take-up which is key to the programme’s future.”