Suffolk: Quest to win superfast broadband funding

MPs, council members and local business people joined in Beccles this morning as Waveney MP Peter Aldous held a conference on broadband in Suffolk.

Ed Vaizey, minister for communications, culture and creative industries, gave the keynote speech to a packed conference room at the Waveney House Hotel, as he explained the government’s policy on superfast broadband.

He spoke about the “second pot” of funding that was available and the 2015 target for the UK to have the best superfast broadband across Europe.

Mr Vaizey was quizzed from those concerned that the government were missing the reality of the situation, but he tried to assure them that the funding was there to cover the areas that the service providers would not support.

He said: “People are chaffing at the bit to get broadband and for those sitting at home with no broadband it looks like of slow process but we are building and from 2012 it will really begin to accelerate.”

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Andy Wood from the Choose Suffolk Broadband proposal group explained that they would be applying for the next round of money and spoke how “new Anglia” (Suffolk and Norfolk) could benefit from faster broadband.

This was backed by broadband commentator Adrian Wooster who explained that if action was not taken soon rural areas would be left behind.

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Gwyneth Barnes, of Beccles-based Touchstone Productions, was among the many businesses represented at the conference.

She said: “I think it is absolutely brilliant to see so many people here. It just shows how many people have problems, and that Beccles and the outlying areas have the same issues.”

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