Suffolk: Superfast internet work to start next year
WORK to start installing new superfast broadband across Suffolk should start in the spring after BT and the county council formally signed up for the scheme.
County council leader Mark Bee and Bill Murphy from BT signed the contract at Endeavour House in Ipswich.
Mr Murphy said work on surveying and planning the programme would start early in the new year.
“That will take about three months to be completed, and then we will move on to digging and installing the green boxes.
“It will be about three months later that we are able to connect up the first customers.”
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Mr Bee described the even as a “fantastic day” for Suffolk.
“We have to complete this programme by 2015 and this gives us the perfect platform to start the work – it is so important for both businesses and for domestic customers.”
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Business groups which have been campaigning to bring faster broadband speeds to Suffolk welcomed the signing of the deal.
“Our members have been very clear that they see business potential in the roll-out of superfast broadband,” said Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.
“Superfast broadband allows owners of smaller companies to be more competitive and this coupled with their entrepreneurial flair has the potential for new employment.”
Nicola Currie, eastern region director of the Country Land & Business Association (CLA), said: “The CLA congratulates Suffolk County Council for backing the bid, making today’s signing possible.
“We were the original campaigners as effective broadband is essential if the rural economy is to reach its full potential.”
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “The signing of the contract is good news for business in Suffolk and is a key milestone in bringing superfast broadband to our county.
“It remains a tough economic climate for firms and having access to good quality broadband is a fundamental part of any successful business. With today’s news we now know work will get underway in 2013 and Suffolk can be on a level playing field with many other areas of the UK, Europe and the World.”