Suffolk first county to expand its Better Broadband coverage

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Suffolk will be the first county to extend its Better Broadband coverage under a new Government funded scheme.

Suffolk County Council and BT signed a contract, under the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework programme, to continue working together to provide a county-wide fibre network.

The project will use public and private funds to deliver a fibre network to parts of the county not covered by previous plans and it is claimed will bring high speed broadband to 95 per cent of premises in the county.

Earlier this year, BDUK announced a further £250 million fund, called the Superfast Extension Programme (SEP), of which Suffolk was awarded £15 million to deliver further coverage in the county.

The £15m capital grant will be locally matched by £5m from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund and £10m from Suffolk County Council.

Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme board, said: “Access to better broadband across the whole of Suffolk is at the heart of our economic growth strategy, as it will support future business investment and growth in Suffolk.

“Recently we reached the halfway mark, six weeks ahead of schedule, as more than 50,000 homes and businesses can now connect to faster fibre broadband.”

Better Broadband for Suffolk is part of a multi-million pound partnership between Suffolk County Council, Suffolk’s seven district and borough councils, BT and the Government.

Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is essential that businesses have access to faster broadband speeds, to help companies grow and thrive.”