What next for broadband?

What’s been happening?

The good news is that the results of our broadband survey have helped persuade Mid Suffolk District Council to contribute some funds for investment in broadband with an acknowledgement that our area is a priority.

Mid Suffolk’s favoured approach is a short term fix using a new generation of wireless technology which should provide a more robust service than that currently available.  Longer term the aim is to deliver the more future proof “fibre to premises” solution although this will involve investment from BT and others.

Further funding for the short term may come from a bid for external funding submitted with Suffolk County Council and Suffolk ACRE, again helped by our survey.  The result of this bid will not be known until early 2011.

Separately Suffolk County Council has also been under pressure from businesses to improve the service.  Through the organisation Choose Suffolk (promoters of Suffolk as a business destination) they favour the “fibre to premises” solution which will not happen for at least a couple of years or when they can find the millions of pounds necessary.

What next?

Mid Suffolk are now waiting to see if the funding bid succeeds while also working at a county level to see if there can be an integrated solution.

We have made some good progress in getting access to funding.  What we don’t yet have is a firm plan for how best to use whatever money we might get.  I therefore think that the best next step is to form a group of people who can examine all the possible options.  If you are interested in being part of this group, please let me know.

Anything else?

BT has launched a “nationwide survey” to map demand for fibre broadband in the UK.  Following input from the public at www.bt.com/racetoinfinity the data gathered will influence BT’s plans and they will upgrade the five exchanges with the highest demand.  At least 1000 people from each exchange must register for that exchange to have a chance.

We need as many people in the Stowmarket exchange to register so we can send another message to BT that we need some investment here.  Please register if you can.



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rachel.eburne@midsuffolk.gov.uk tel: 01449 673311 or 07768 460 108

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