Thousands more people across Norfolk to benefit from superfast broadband thanks to £17.9m deal

10:05 27 January 2015

Picture: James Bass

Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2013

Thousands of people in rural Norfolk will benefit from faster broadband thanks to a new multi-million pound deal.

Karen O'Kane, programme director for the Better Broadband for Norfolk projectKaren O'Kane, programme director for the Better Broadband for Norfolk project

It comes after the EDP’s Say Yes to Better Broadband campaign helped spark a £41m deal in 2012 to improve internet speeds for more than 174,000 homes and businesses.

The latest £17.9m contract, which is aimed to help a further 25,000 homes and businesses, should see a total of 90pc of properties in Norfolk having access to faster internet speeds by the end of 2017.

Karen O’Kane, programme director for Better Broadband for Norfolk, said by spring, families and businesses would be able to check whether they would benefit from the new contract.

She added: “We have come a long way and this money will help us go further.

How it works

Internet which is connected through fibre optic cables is classed as superfast, and is above 24mb per second.

Under the government plans, any property with 2mbps or less will be equipped with alternative technology such as satellite.

The primary method for connecting properties to faster internet, is called Fibre to the Cabinet. It uses a mixture of fibre optic and copper cabling. Copper connects a home or business premises to a street cabinet, which is usually a green box.

This box is connected to a new cabinet, which connects to a fibre spine, leading to a major exchange.

Telecommunication services travel at faster speeds over fibre cable and do not slow down over distance, unlike with copper.

Each roadside fibre broadband cabinet serves homes and businesses in a very localised area such as part of a village or town. As faster services become available, people will be able to check whether their home or business can receive them via the Better Broadband for Norfolk website.

For more information about the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, visit

“I am delighted but I won’t be satisfied until I have helped every single property in Norfolk.”

The deal sees £6m of central Government funding matched by £5m from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, a business-led organisation which aims to create jobs and remove barriers to growth in Norfolk and Suffolk.

BT will contribute £5.9m, allowing households and businesses with slow speeds to buy faster fibre broadband.

The cash boost is aimed to bring rural broadband speeds in line with urban areas which currently have faster internet, such as Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

George Nobbs, Norfolk County Council leader, said: “The broadband inequality that has previously existed in Norfolk is being whittled away and with this extension, will be nearly eradicated.

“The whole county stands to benefit from the knock-on effect, with at-home learning and working and rural entrepreneurship among the opportunities that will be unlocked.”

Anthony Marett, managing director of Marett’s Chariots, a coach hire business based in Aylmerton near Cromer, said faster broadband would make a huge difference to his business.

He added: “It is brilliant news, mainly in terms of efficiency. The amount of time that members of staff spend waiting for pages to load is terrible.”

Suffolk announced a similar scheme in October, promising to reach 95pc of premises and households, while Cambridgeshire is expected to announce further plans in March.

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Comment, page 34.


  • Money for old rope. As far s I understand it, BT had already been planning the network upgrades as the copper cables are reaching capacity. Upgrading them to fibre gives BT much more scope to offer other services. So, they've now been handed cash to do what they were going to do anyway. I bet the executives are laughing all the way to their Cayman Island retreats.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • I'll believe it when I see it. And I don't believe for a second that I will see it.

    Report this comment

    Callum Ringer

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • Hopefully they will not only upgrade fibre, but also the aged 'up to 8mb' ADSL Exchanges... an equipment upgrade there would allow 'up to 24mb' without digging up anything!

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • Oh yet again BT have the Monopoly. You can see why BT want to buy EE so they have even more domination in the Telecoms Sector, Broadband Fixed Landline and Mobile Broadband and Calls. I am sure OFCOM are sitting back doing nothing as usual. We all know about Broadband speed that say UPTO, yes UPTO you are never going to get the advertised Speed unless your Computer is actually Hardwired in the Exchange itself.

    Report this comment

    Simon Bramley

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • As Cyril says 24Mbps is hardly superfast but for those of us on less than 4 it will be a revelation. I realise there is a lot of work to do but BT have have years to plan for this. I also notice that the news hasn't appeared on the BBfN site yet

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • In 2015 24Mbps is hardly "superfast"

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    Cyril the Canary

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • I have to agree with Harry Harrison that for those of us who do not have fibre to cabinet but are on exchange lines there appears to be little prospect of improvement. Norfolk County Council should make sure that greater coverage is provided even to the most rural. I now live in a not spot in a fibre to cabinet enabled village.

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • Out near Blickling we get a max of 1Mb....hardly an internet service at all! Despite all these promises nothing ever seems to happen in this area, we are "too far from the exchange" according to BT and that they have no plans of laying any Fibre this way. I've almost given up after years of trying to get a better service and getting the same answers every time. Time to go and watch iPlayer...oh no wait, that takes a good hour to buffer anything.

    Report this comment

    Harry Harrison

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • I thought we were to get superfast broadband in Spixworth when Fibre Optic was installed but since joining I only get 20.63mps download as just measured. At busy times my screen says 'Cancel' or 'Wait' as it cannot download quick enough. I know 20mps is faster than many places but it is not superfast which is what I pay for.

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • On bearf orf orl us folk in Narfork.......thankee very much Bt. Moi woife said we can be loike them other folk in posh parts.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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