Suffolk broadband campaign calls for final push
The Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign has launched a final bid to gain support for super-fast internet connections in the country.
More than 7,300 households and businesses have registered with the initiative since it was launched in January, but Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee said more signatures are needed.
The local authority is aiming to demonstrate that the level of demand for next-generation broadband services in Suffolk justifies a major rollout.
Mr Bee, who chairs the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, told the East Anglian Daily Times: "We're now entering the home straight for the survey so if people haven't signed up yet, now's the time.
"We absolutely must demonstrate to ministers and potential suppliers that Suffolk is serious about super-fast broadband."
He added that there is a "genuine desire and pressing need" for improved broadband access across the region.
The council leader made his comments ahead of the Suffolk Better Broadband Conference, which takes place today (March 9th) at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.
According to the newspaper, the event will feature a demonstration from students at Copleston High School in Ipswich about the important role broadband plays in their education.
The county council has promised some "exciting speakers" for the conference, with Suffolk MPs due to take part in question-and-answer sessions.
In addition, the event will see the authority formally launch its consultation with broadband providers to deliver a super-fast network in the county, which is the final step before it proceeds to the procurement process.
Suffolk was awarded a funding allocation of £11.68 million from Broadband Delivery UK to support its rollout last year. The county council has also agreed to invest £10 million in the project.
The current average broadband connection in Suffolk is 5Mbps, while households in some rural areas struggle with connection speeds as low as 0.5Mbps.