Suffolk: 10% of county in web wilderness

THE most detailed breakdown of broadband “not spots” in Suffolk today shows that almost 67,000 people are still without acceptable access to the internet.

Nearly 10 per cent of households and businesses in the county live in areas with very slow broadband connectivity, with hundreds of families without any functional broadband access at all.

In Suffolk, 29,275 households or 66,927 people out of a population of 714,000, are without an acceptable access to the internet, research carried out by Point Topic has shown.

Of Suffolk’s local authorities, rural Mid Suffolk ranked lowest at 373 of 407 in the UK with only 26pc of households having a useable broadband connection.

Suffolk Coastal ranked at 348 in the country, with only 31pc of households having an acceptable line.

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They are compared to Ipswich, ranked 45, where 79pc of families have a useable connection.

Tim Johnson, chief analyst at Point Topic, said Suffolk had a good case for securing some of the �530million pot dedicated by the Government to improving broadband access before the next election.

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He said the county’s broadband coverage was poor compared with the South and rest of East of England.

“I think looking at the figures as a whole Suffolk definitely does have relatively poor broadband coverage,” said Mr Johnson.

“Suffolk is in the lower side of access, certainly as far as the South and East of England are concerned, areas where access tends to be better.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous is calling for an inclusive broadband strategy for Suffolk, where larger providers work closely with smaller ones to boost internet access in the county.

The Government’s Broadband Strategy published in December 2010 provided details of �530m that is being made available up to 2015 to support broadband roll-out.

Andy Wood, chairman of Choose Suffolk, which is campaigning for better broadband in the county, urged people to support their cause.

He said: “Sadly these figures do not surprise us. It is frustrating that for thousands of families across Suffolk, being linked up to the rest of the world via the information superhighway remains a problem.

“Public support is a key pillar to bringing superfast broadband to Suffolk. I would therefore encourage any one who has yet to sign up to the I’m Backing Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign to go to to make sure their voice is heard.”

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