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Enabling Better Broadband in Suffolk Coastal

Better Broadband

Access to high speed broadband services is vital for economic growth and the development of a strong local economy, particularly in rural areas.

Delivery of many commercial and public services is increasingly dependent on good quality internet access, leading to real disadvantages to those residents and businesses without high speed broadband (>10mbps). 

The purpose of this page is to provide Suffolk Coastal residents’ with some useful information on the provision of superfast broadband. 

Better Broadband for Suffolk Programme

Better Broadband for Suffolk banner

The Better Broadband for Suffolk Programme aims to provide superfast fibre broadband coverage across the county.

It is currently in the process of investing heavily in improving the county’s Superfast Broadband infrastructure. This programme is expected to complete in 2020.

The Better Broadband for Suffolk Programme continues to work with the government to develop a policy which completes the rollout to these ‘hardest to reach’ communities, which are predominately in rural areas. But, as yet, there are no firm commitments or additional funding agreed.

You can find more information on this at the BBS, do a postcode check of your service and timetable for an upgrade in your area, see the Better Broadband for Suffolk website.

Suffolk Coastal’s Enabling Broadband Project

Work is now beginning to improve the broadband service in the rural areas of Suffolk Coastal.

This bespoke work is being carried out to plug the gaps in service in our area.

Cllr Ray Herring, Suffolk Coastal’s Leader explained: 

“We believe having access to high speed, affordable broadband internet services is essential for the continued economic growth of our district and important to our communities, particularly in the more rural areas,”

“Our Enabling Communities agenda is all about helping our communities to grow and prosper. We believe providing better broadband is central to the success of this priority.”

Suffolk Coastal is an active partner in the county-wide, Suffolk Better Broadband Programme which has the aim of providing 100% superfast fibre broadband coverage across the county.

But it is recognised that there is likely to be 2-3% of properties that will be without access to reasonable broadband services when the existing programme ends in mid 2020. In rural areas, the percentage without access is expected to be much greater.

So, in support of our Enabling Communities priority, a Suffolk Coastal Enabling Broadband Programme Board was established in June 2017 with the aim of supporting those communities which are likely to be in that 2-3% to not have access to an affordable high speed broadband service.

Initially, work was carried out with local communities to identify the worst affected areas and to map out what work needed doing. Then, in May this year, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet threw its weight behind the scheme – and put aside £250,000 to pay for the work.

Now the contracts have been awarded and work has begun to provide the improved coverage in the worst hit areas, across over 50 parishes across the top half of the District (in an area north of a rough line across from the Orford Peninsula).

Service Issues

If you have concerns about the quality of your broadband service that you consider isn’t be addressed by your service provider, there are agencies you can contact, such as:

 Wireless Service

While most broadband services are provided via copper or fibre cables to the premises, wireless broadband is provided via radio waves with premises having some kind of antennae receiver. They can provide an alternative high speed solution, especially in rural areas.

Within Suffolk Coastal there are currently a number of wireless broadband providers:

Sources of external funding 

Funding is available to support the provision of broadband, a few of the links are below:

Case studies and examples

Here are some useful examples of what other communities have done, which may help people considering similar projects in their community:

If you wish enquire about what Suffolk Coastal District Council is offering, or to talk through ideas for your community, contact Dr Wil Gibson (project manager) at: wil.gibson@eastsuffolk.gov.uk