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Suffolk UK Bring BDUK and BT Superfast Broadband Upgrades Forward

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 (8:08 am) - Score 2,444

The Suffolk County Council has confirmed that its state aid supported £40 million contract with BT, which aims to make superfast fibre broadband services available to 85-90% of local homes and businesses by the end of 2015, has connected its first street cabinet and will now be able to connect 16 areas by September 2013 (3 months ahead of schedule).

Readers might recall that the Better Broadband to Suffolk project only recently announced its first upgrade locations (here) and apparently BTOpenreach’s engineers, which have been busy completing their survey of the region, have since discovered that some smaller parts of the county will be easier to connect than first assumed.

As a result 2,500 premises in 16 locations should now go live by the end of September 2013 and some homes in Lowestoft, Belstead and Stowmarket are already able to place orders. The other communities that will receive a connection three months earlier than expected include parts of Kesgrave, Hadleigh, Whatfield, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Felixstowe and on the Suffolk-Essex border near Manningtree (specific rollout areas below).

Mark Bee, SCC Leader, said (Heart):

Switching on the first cabinets is a truly significant milestone in the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme and is very much the start of great things to come.

Faster broadband will boost Suffolk’s economy, help us to attract new businesses to the county and create new jobs. It will also make accessing the internet far easier for people’

I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time and look forward to seeing the rollout completed within the next two and a half years.”

Specific ‘up to’ 80Mbps FTTC Rollout Areas (Aug – Sept 2013)

•Weston Road; Cotmer Rd; Mayfield Road, Lowestoft
•Riverside Industrial Park; Old Wherstead Road, Belstead
•Edmonton Road, Kesgrave
•Lady Lane; Whatfield, Hadleigh
•Springfield Road; Moreton Ind Est; Buttermarket area, Bury St Edmunds
•Creeting Road, Stowmarket
•Lucas Rd, Sudbury
•Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe
•School Lane, Brantham
•The Street, Bramford

This is only the start of the scheme and BTOpenreach are likely to come back later on in the project to further expand coverage in the above areas. The change means that Suffolk’s scheme will now bring superfast broadband to around 10,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2013 (this includes the previously announced rollout areas).

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Slow Somerset says:

    Be great if we could hear news like this from the Connecting Devon & Somerset site. Would be really good if we could hear any Regular news at all such as progress etc.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      They have had a couple of updates in the last month or two, which is more than most BDUK projects right now :).

    2. With some 96,500 premises left out of any funding or commercial roll-out. The future is bleak for Devon & Somerset. Delivery is still over 3 years to complete.The premises left out survive on bloated promises from the UK Government.

      Where is the common sense not to put funding into BT Cabinets missed out on commercial roll-out for a start.

    3. Replying to Mark Jackson – This should not be a contest of who drip feeds the most. Maria Miller has made a slight difference in sending out a paper tiger to these programmes.

  2. Avatar ant says:

    ” BT, which aims to make superfast fibre broadband services available to 85-90% of local homes and businesses by the end of 2015″

    Was this not supposed to originally be done by beginning of 2015?

    1. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      Yes, was originally end of 2014. Even with this revised date, the goal of 85-90% won’t be reached. For a start, it won’t be fibre broadband, it will mostly be copper VDSL only. Of these, 25% won’t be faster than 32mbps at the most, a far cry from advertised up-to 40 or 80mbps. More than 10% won’t even reach 24mbps. Also, there will be loads of EO lines.

  3. Avatar ant says:

    That is poor 🙁

  4. Avatar James Johnson says:

    What’s even poorer is that at least 5 of those areas listed already had FTTC and were just waiting for additional cabinets to be connected/deployed.
    FTTC has been available in Stowmarket for well over a year now.

  5. Avatar John Bowtell says:

    We have had FTTC in Whatfield for at least a month but not yet connected to new cabinet by BT. How much will it cost to have a new router installed by BT when they eventually decide to wire us up??

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