Resort bids for high-speed internet

By David LennardCAMPAIGNERS wanting to see a fast internet connection introduced in rural parts of the county have taken their battle to the streets.

By David Lennard

CAMPAIGNERS wanting to see a fast internet connection introduced in rural parts of the county have taken their battle to the streets.

Many individuals, groups and business users living in the Southwold area have become increasingly frustrated at the delays in having a broadband connection installed.

BT officials said it was expensive to update rural telephone exchanges to run the new system and have set targets for communities to achieve of people interested in having broadband before it will begin the work.

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Five hundred people in Southwold have to register an interest in receiving the service before BT will update the local exchange and a campaign group is working towards achieving that target.

It held a roadshow and consultation programme in Southwold Market Place on Saturday and hopes are high the target figure will be met in the coming weeks.

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Since the campaign was launched three months ago by Rosie Price, from Reydon, more than 240 people living in the Southwold area have registered an interest in receiving a broadband connection.

The group's publicity officer, Robin Buncombe, said: "Thanks to Rosie that is impressive, but much more needs to be done before all served by the Southwold exchange can benefit from the huge benefits that broadband enabled internet access can, and will, provide to users.

"We are asking people to register their interest in broadband. Registration costs nothing and does not commit a person to any expense, or to take it any further, but unless all those interested registered, none in Southwold will get broadband."

People living in the area were quick to show their support for the campaign and dozens of residents added their name to the register on Saturday.

Ms Price said: "Broadband changes how and why we can use the internet - like tap water, it is always on and you can be on the internet and the phone at the same time, on the same telephone line, at greatly increased speed. That can only be great for businesses and people who use the internet from home."

Anyone wanting to support the Southwold broadband campaign should visit

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