Suffolk: Broadband and mobile coverage still lags behind nation’s average
- Credit: James Bass
Suffolk remains well below national averages in availability of superfast broadband and mobile phone coverage, the latest Ofcom figures have shown.
The 2013 update to Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report showed that less than two-thirds of Suffolk has access to superfast broadband, while nearly 15% of premises are without mobile coverage from all operators.
The report found that superfast broadband is available to only 59.1% of homes in Suffolk, compared to 73% nationally.
Across the UK the number of homes getting broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps, the minimum speed requirement set by the government, is 10%. But in Suffolk that figure rises to 13.7%.
The report also makes for dire reading for those relying on mobile phone coverage. Whereas throughout the UK the number of premises covered by all mobile phone operators stood at 94.1%, that figure fell to 85.8% in Suffolk.
The figures lends even more weight to the EADT’s Let’s Get Connected campaign, which aims to eliminate mobile phone ‘not-spots’ in Suffolk.
The leader of Suffolk County Council, Mark Bee, said the report proved the importance of investing in communications infrastructure.
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“Today’s Ofcom report is further evidence of Suffolk’s pressing need for access to decent broadband speeds and mobile phone coverage,” he said.
“The need is precisely why we have embarked on the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme and are firmly behind the EADT’s Let’s Get Connected campaign.
“By Christmas, some 10,000 Suffolk homes and businesses will have been connected to broadband and by the end of 2015, every property will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps.
“We welcome the Government’s recent investment in reducing the number of areas with no mobile coverage whatsoever – and very much expect this to be the beginning of a significant service improvement across Suffolk.
“Residents and businesses in the county all stand to benefit from these improvements.”
John Dugmore, Chief Executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added that businesses continued to be held back by the poor coverage.
“These figures are not a surprise but they do reinforce the urgent need for Suffolk to be better connected.
“Businesses across our county are working harder than ever but clearly by Suffolk being below the national average it highlights how they are hindered on a day to day basis by this lack of fundamental infrastructure.”
Do you live or work in a mobile phone blackspot? Sign our online petition so we can put pressure on the mobile phone companies to make things better. Hundreds have already signed up – but we need more. You will find the petition online at www.eadt.co.uk and see the Let’s Get Connected campaign section.