Suffolk to forge ahead with new and improved broadband bid

A new push to get government funding for high-speed broadband across Suffolk is to be launched by the county council later this week.

County council leader Mark Bee has invited the county's leading councillors, MPs and business figures to a special cabinet meeting on Friday to forge ahead with a plan to drastically improve broadband access in Suffolk.

Mr Bee, also a Waveney District councillor, has made improving the county's broadband network a key priority for his leadership.

While Norfolk was successful with its �15m bid last month, Suffolk was dealt a massive blow when its �20m bid was not included in the Government's initial allocation of funds.

This week's meeting will discuss the county's revised current bid, the feedback it had from Broadband Delivery UK and an action plan to secure the necessary funding as soon as possible, including securing extra funding from local sources.

'We're absolutely committed to delivering better broadband for Suffolk and are looking at everything we can do to make it happen,' said Mr Bee.

Andy Wood, chair of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and chief executive of Southwold-based brewers Adnams, said: 'I am delighted Mark has called this meeting.

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'While we are all disappointed that the announcement at the end of May did not go Suffolk's way, this never was a win-lose situation.

'The acknowledged technical quality of our bid provides us with a strong platform to quickly and confidently re-engage with BDUK.'

Suffolk currently has one of the poorest broadband networks in England. The average broadband speed currently experienced by Suffolk's consumers and small businesses is less than 5Mbps.

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