Communications giants set to bid on bringing superfast broadband to Suffolk

THE starting gun has been fired in the race to bring superfast broadband to Suffolk.

Communications giants BT and Fujitsu have been formally invited to bid for a �40million contract to bring faster speeds to the county.

The duo now have until September 7 to make their case.

Councillor Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, said: “This is a hugely significant milestone in the Better Broadband programme.

“We’ve got the public funding in place, overwhelming public support behind us and now we’re one of the first four counties to actively go out to the market and invite bids.”

The milestone has been welcomed by Suffolk business groups.

Chris Soule, chairman of Suffolk Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It goes without saying that the FSB is delighted with this news.”

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He added: “This gives a real building block for growth and will make Suffolk a better place to do business, no matter what kind of business you have, large or small.”

Suffolk County Council says it will consult with councils, MPs and business and voluntary groups before selecting a supplier on October 8. The authority added the first businesses and homes should be connected by the end of the year.

The county council has pledged �10m towards the total cost of the project. The government is investing �11.6m.