£40m contract to bring superfast broadband to Suffolk is signed

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A £40 million deal which will see BT supply superfast broadband to 85 per cent of Suffolk by 2015, has been signed today.

The contract signing between Suffolk County Council and BT has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The FSB campaigned for Suffolk to among the first wave of counties to be upgraded to superfast broadband.

Chris Soule, chairman of the FSB’s Suffolk branch, who was at today’s contract signing, said rural businesses and households, had long had problems with broadband speed, or even with accessing it at all.

Research by the FSB found 85 per cent of rural businesses expect their reliance on the internet to increase.

“Our members have been very clear that they see business potential in the roll out of superfast broadband,” said Mr Soule.

“We, as a leading business organisation in the county, have worked with our partners and the local authority to ensure the roll out has happened expediently and has focused on the rural economy where many of our members are based.

“Superfast broadband allows owners of smaller companies to be more competitive and this coupled with their entrepreneurial flair has the potential for new employment.

“Our task now is to continue to work with local authorities and to apply pressure to ensure that the remaining 15 per cent of the county is not disadvantaged.”

Today also saw a similiar contract signed in Norfolk.

Norfolk County Council said it would nearly double the number of Norfolk homes and businesses able to access superfast broadband within three years.