Extra £1.38m for broadband plan

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AN EXTRA £1.38 million is to be invested in high speed broadband across Suffolk by the county council.

The authority’s cabinet is expected to increase its funding pledge from £10 million to £11.68 million when it meets on Monday.

The remaining £300,000 will come from local councils and the total will be match- funded by the Government’s Broadband Development (BDUK) programme.

It was revealed this week that telecommunications giant BT is the sole bidder for the contract, which will extend access to broadband to areas of the county which have slow speeds.

The move will help businesses develop, improve educational attainment and transform public services.

Cllr Mark Bee, leader of the county council and chairman of the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, said: “Every day, Suffolk is moving closer to a broadband revolution. We were one of the first four counties to actively go out to the market and invite bids, we have overwhelming public support behind us and if this additional money is approved, we’ll have all the public funding in place to reach the next stage.

As a result of the proposals, it is understood that by 2015 more than 90 per cent of premises in the county should be able to access superfast broadband.

The remaining 10 per cent should have a significant increase in available speed and reliability.

By the end of the year the first businesses and homes should be connected.

Good news for Norfolk Broadband – Page 34