Broadband speed improvement calls

BUSINESS chiefs were last night urged to join the fight to secure improved broadband speeds for Suffolk.The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) wants local people to voice their frustrations about the quality of internet connection in the county.

BUSINESS chiefs were last night urged to join the fight to secure improved broadband speeds for Suffolk.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) wants local people to voice their frustrations about the quality of internet connection in the county.

They are asking businesses and individuals to fill out a questionnaire demanding the roll-out of next generation broadband services to include Suffolk.

The survey has been organised by the Eastern Region Broadband Uplift Scheme (EREBUS) and has been backed by the local community.


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John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “If we are to maintain our position, compete as we should and bring new business into the county, we need world standard broadband to ensure the Suffolk business community leads the UK out of recession and is competitive on a global stage.”

Nicola Currie, regional director for the Country Land and Business Association, said: “Rural businesses can't survive without broadband. Many require high speed services for websites or completing essential online services such as tax returns or communicating with clients.”

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The campaign is also being back by Suffolk Coastal District Council, which has particular problems with broadband access in areas including Rendelsham, Friston, Tunstall, Stratford St Andrew and Parham.

Colin Hart, cabinet member for economic development, said: “Broadband speeds in the county are generally much slower than many other parts of the country, especially in the more rural areas of our district. In some parts there is no broadband access at all. We need to act now to help businesses thrive in the current economic climate.”

Last night a spokesman for BT, which is just one provider of broadband, said the government was working with the telecoms industry to make access for all a reality.

He said more than 99 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK had high speed internet access available through their telephone exchange while the company had invested billions of pounds - including in projects that had been rolled out in Ipswich and Lowestoft.

People have until the end of the month to register their concerns about Suffolk's access to broadband at www.erebusonline.org.uk.

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