Broadband evidence

CAMPAIGNERS for superfast broadband in Suffolk are today beginning to collect evidence to support their case through a business survey.

Business leaders representing a range of sectors gathered at Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa to launch the study, which campaigners say will be “key” to bringing superfast broadband to Suffolk.

The hotel, home to some of Europe’s major televised golf tournaments with over 400 staff at peak periods, says having faster broadband is key to its plans for expansion and growth.

Following the commitment made by Government and Suffolk County Council earlier this year to fund the programme to bring Superfast Broadband across the county, evidence now has to be gathered to show there is the demand from businesses to take up the service.

“Year on year the fundamental issue for business growth across Suffolk is the need to have superfast broadband.” said local councillor James Finch.

“We have the commitment both from Government and our council. Now we need our businesses to step forward, give us a few moments of their time and complete this vitally important survey. It is essential that we confirm the evidence to our national government that we have the real demand and so that we can start this project here as soon as possible.”

Hotel managing director Susanna Randall said the business was “proud” to be part of Suffolk’s rural economy.

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“The team here have worked incredibly hard over the years to improve our broadband service including bringing in our own satellite system and juggling what we have in order that our customers get the best service available,” she said. “As a rural business with a passion to grow in these challenging economic times, both us and all businesses across Suffolk now need superfast broadband. That is why the completion of this survey by all Suffolk businesses is so important.”

The survey is available at www.suffolk.gov.uk/broadband. Campaigners are encouraging businesses to complete the survey by the end of November.

The Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign is working to a process of demand stimulation, where it needs to showcase service demand to potential bidders for the Suffolk deployment contract.

The campaign recognises that better broadband is vitally important for businesses to succeed and grow as Suffolk plc strives to come out of the recession.

“Bringing better broadband to Suffolk is fundamental to the growth of our economy,” said Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee.

“That’s why we are asking every business across the county, large or small, to go online and complete this important survey.”