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Suffolk UK Reveals First Areas to Benefit from £40m Broadband Upgrade

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 (1:10 pm) - Score 4,087

The Suffolk County Council has named the first locations that will benefit from its state aid supported project to make BT’s superfast fibre broadband (25Mbps+) services available to 85-90% of local premises by the end of 2015.

Suffolk officially signed its Local Broadband Plan (LBP) contract with BT at the end of last year (here). But, until last week, there had been precious little news about its progress. Now a new website has been launched to support the scheme (http://www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com), which reveals which areas are likely to benefit first.

The entire parish area is colour-coded according to when Better Broadband will start to arrive.

suffolk uk broadband intervention map

According to the new information, the first areas to benefit by 2014 will be Stradbroke, Fressingfield, Weybread, Laxfield, Palgrave, Mendham, Mendlesham, Debenham, Monk Soham, Kenton, Tannington, Badingham, Denham, Cotton, Finningham, Wickham Skeith, Thwaite, Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford and Mickfield.

Sadly locals in Thornham Magna, Regrave, Hopton and Thelnetham will probably have to wait until 2015 to see their internet access improved.

Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s Leader, said (Press Release):

Initial planning and survey work is well underway and we’re now heading into the delivery phase of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme. So I’m delighted to be able to share with people more details about when and where faster broadband will be rolled out.

By the end of 2015, Suffolk County Council is committed to ensuring that every property in Suffolk will have access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps and 85% of homes and businesses will be able to get speeds of 24Mbps or above. That’s something we are incredibly proud to be making happen.

The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme was set up to improve broadband access for everyone. Things are really starting to happen now.”

More specific details are expected to surface in the near future. Meanwhile BT expects to install more than 300 new street side cabinets to help support its deployment of up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and 330Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology in the area.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Slow Somerset says:

    Come on then Somerset when are you going to let us know your Roll out plans ?. The site has not been updated since the end of March.

    1. Somerset says:

      I hear it will be soon.

  2. TheFacts says:

    So where are the 10-15% that will not get SFBB???

    1. Chris says:

      they are still in the same place they were when funding was made available for them, but its looking like they are still going to be black spots as 2 Mbps is neither use nor ornament these days. The digital divide grows ever wider as incumbents help the main customer bases go a bit faster and ignore the longer line lengths and rural places.

    2. FibreFred says:


      So lets ignore the fact that an altnet wouldn’t have the money to do a joint BDUK venture (e.g. BDUK puts in £X million pounds, alnet also puts in £X million pounds – Total = £40m) and that’s a massive ignore, but putting that to one side.

      If the altnet did win the BDUK money just how far would that money go on FTTP which I presume you would suggest be rolled out?

      How far would the £40m go for FTTP across Suffolk?

    3. Denis Wicking says:

      The 10 to 15% are any of the rural communities such as Battisford where I live. Seems mad that we get the funding and then it isn’t used for the rural areas that need it

  3. Slow Somerset says:

    I agree Chris the digital divide gets ever bigger, what good is 2 Mbps these days.

  4. MikeW says:

    What do different people mean by the “digital divide”?

    Genuine question, because I’m trying to figure out if the divide is actually getting smaller or bigger. But if it means different things to different people, there’ll never be an answer.

    What measure do people think of when talking about the divide? Speed?

    What is the dividing point? Is it a “faster than X count as have” and “slower than X count as have-not”?

    Does the dividing point change? What is it currently? What should it be in 2015, 2020? What ought it to have been, say, 5 years ago (before iPlayer & catch-up TV)?

    What do you mean when you say the divide is getting larger? That the speed difference is getting bigger? That the absolute speed is getting bigger? That there are more Have’s vs Have-Not’s?

    1. keith says:

      “What do different people mean by the “digital divide”?”

      Dunno but it must make more sense than you spamming the same comment in more than a single story

  5. Mike says:

    I’m pretty sure the digital divide is the same now as it’s been since the start of the internet. When I moved from Sheffield in 1995, I swapped 56kb speeds for 14.4 in the middle of Suffolk. It was enough for email, but not for images. Later I got 256kb, when cities were on 2Mb, I could now have pictures, but not video from the fledgling Youtube site. Now I have about 1.4Mb on a good day, whereas cities are now on 25Mb plus. So I can now use Youtube, but not enjoy streamed television and films.
    Cities are where the most customers live and where it’s easiest to get fast broadband to most people cheaply. It makes economic sense for BT and others to concentrate on those conurbations and pay lip service to the rural customer.
    So soon we’re promised a minimum of 2Mb, probably about 3 or 4 for me. Just enough for a flickering version of iPlayer, but by then cities will be getting used to HD streaming and multi stream homes.
    Face facts, there will always be a digital divide. All we in the countryside can hope for is to not be left too far behind.

  6. Denis Wicking says:

    Not all good news in Suffolk. My village (Battisford) has been offered a deal to upgrade -pay £40000.
    No public funding for us – we are too far (5 k) from the exchange.
    I hope other county councils negotiate contracts that get the goods supplied.

  7. Graham says:

    The 1st poll question needs a 3rd option offer 1Gbps to 95% of the population, putting in 30Mbps is merely supplying adequate broadband, we want superfast FTTP for 95% and FTTC for 100%

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