Starting gun fired on broadband bids

Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who has been campaigning for better broadband in Suffolk so as to help underpin economic growth in the Waveney area, today welcomed a major milestone in SUFFOLK’S better broadband campaign as Suffolk County Council invited companies to bid for the contract worth over £40 million.

British Telecom (BT) and Fujitsu now have until 7 September 2012 to make their case for winning the contract - which will create for Suffolk a broadband network fit for the twenty first century.

The aim of the programme is to extend access to broadband to the areas of Suffolk which currently have slow speeds. By 2015, over 90% of premises in the county will be able to access superfast broadband. The remaining 10% will have had a significant increase in available speed and reliability.

Suffolk County Council will hold a special cabinet meeting on 20 September 2012 where leaders of the county’s seven district and borough councils, Suffolk’s MPs and business and voluntary group representatives will be invited to discuss a recommendation on selecting a supplier. The contract will be awarded on 8 October 2012.

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

Peter Aldous said:

“I am pleased to see the Suffolk broadband campaign making good progress. At my conference on broadband provision in Suffolk in 2010 it became clear how important broadband infrastructure is to our local economy. It has been a pleasure to work with Suffolk team and thanks to hard work from all involved we are now in a good position compared to other parts of the country. I look forward to witnessing the huge benefits from high speed broadband in the coming years.”

In the run-up to the decision on which areas would receive funding from Broadband Delivery UK, Peter Aldous highlighted how important financial intervention is in Suffolk to achieve universal high speed access across the county.

The latest milestone comes after an overwhelmingly positive response from more than 12,000 Suffolk businesses and residents. This smashed the 10,000 target set by Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council.

Suffolk County Council has pledged £10 million towards the total cost of the project. The Government is investing £11.6 million. The public funding will be matched by an equal amount of private funding from the successful supplier.

Contact Peter Aldous MP

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