Broadband boost for Suffolk

SUFFOLK has been awarded more than �11million as the Government works to improve broadband connections.

In total, rural and hard-to-reach area were allocated �362m, as part of a drive to ensure that 90per cent of homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2015.

English counties will get �294 million and Scotland �68.8 million to help the one-third of households that are not expected to have superfast broadband made available by the private sector.

While Suffolk was awarded �11,680,000, Essex will receive �6.4m worth of funding, Cambridgeshire is to get �6,750,000, and Norfolk will benefit from nearly �15.5m.

County councils and private enterprise partnerships will be put in charge of broadband rollouts in their areas, and will be required to draw up delivery plans and find match-funding from elsewhere.

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Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'Fast broadband is absolutely vital to our economic growth, to delivering public services effectively, and to conducting our everyday lives.

'But some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all.

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'We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age.'

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has been campaigning since his election in May 2010 to improve the often poor level of internet access and speeds viewing it as essential to the economic recovery of the County.

Mr Aldous' Suffolk Broadband Conference, held in Beccles in April 2011, brought together representatives from communities across Suffolk to outline the problems they experience and to hear potential solutions from providers of existing infrastructure and broadband.

Since the conference Aldous and fellow Suffolk MPs Therese Coffey and Dan Poulter have been pressing Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, who gave the keynote speech at the Suffolk Conference, to ensure Suffolk received the funds necessary.

Mr Aldous said: 'I am delighted that after so much work raising the importance of broadband for the future of Waveney that Suffolk has secured a portion of the Government's targeted funding. At the Suffolk Broadband Conference it became clear that parts of Waveney have some of the worst connectivity in the country. I look forward to working to do all I can to ensure the improvements are experienced as soon as possible

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