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Funding to connect rural businesses in Suffolk to superfast broadband

More than 550 businesses in Suffolk’s most rural areas are set to be connected to superfast broadband following £1.725 million in Government funding.

Suffolk County Council, working with district authorities, secured the money from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help businesses that are missing out on the current fibre broadband rollout.

It will also reach 600 homes - meeting some of the two per cent of Suffolk not covered by superfast contracts that are due to reach 98 per cent by 2020.

Superfast broadband. (7514568)
Superfast broadband. (7514568)

Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath, said the funding bid was backed by ‘hard evidence’ about how communities would benefit.

“For businesses it is about being able to compete on a level playing field and access to superfast broadband will not only do that, but will also help local businesses to grow and be even more successful,” he said.

Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk’s cabinet member for economy, noted that ‘over the years businesses have battled with unreliable broadband connections and speeds’.

He said: “This investment will enable more of them to be competitive in meeting the demands of a developing digital commercial environment.”

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury, added: “Superfast broadband provides better access to services as well as to things like Skype, supporting our businesses and residents as well as making West Suffolk an even more attractive place to set up new businesses.”

Work to connect new areas will start later this year.

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