The rural Suffolk coastal town of Southwold has been upgraded to fibre along with neighbouring Reydon.
Around 2,100 homes and businesses in the area now have access to high-speed fibre broadband, after work was carried out on behalf of Better Broadband for Suffolk.
Seven green cabinets, serving properties in 174 postcodes, have been upgraded so that people living and working near to them can access faster broadband speeds (with most getting 24 megabits per second or more).
The work in Southwold is all part of a multi million pound partnership between Suffolk County Council, BT and the Government to make high-speed fibre broadband more widely available throughout the county, especially in rural areas.
So far, over 14,000 properties across Suffolk have been given access to high-speed fibre broadband. 1,123 postcodes have benefited from 58 green cabinets being upgraded or installed and over 160 miles of fibre cabling having been laid.
Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, said: “This is a real and tangible demonstration of exactly what we set out to achieve with the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.”
“We’re making modern broadband services available to people living and working in areas that otherwise wouldn’t have the kind of access you get in large urban towns and cities,” he said. “Like many more areas of Suffolk to come, Southwold and Reydon now have the kind of internet access that residents and business owners want and deserve.”
Suffolk County Council has committed to ensuring that by the end of 2015, every property in Suffolk has access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps while 85 per cent of homes and businesses will be able to benefit from superfast speeds of 24Mbps or more.
Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, said: “I’m delighted that superfast fibre broadband is now available in Southwold and Reydon. This is great news for residents and essential for local businesses.
“The government has invested nearly £12 million alongside our local councils in delivering better broadband for Suffolk and I look forward to seeing it continue to roll out across the rest of the county.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “This ambitious project will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies to the area.
“It will play a major role in creating prosperity in the county,” he said. “We have been working hard to get us to where we are today. This is an exciting time for Suffolk and the early stages of a journey that will see the communications landscape completely transformed.”
Over the next 15 years, Suffolk County Council estimates that the project will provide a £2 billion boost to the local economy and will create 1,500 jobs.
Image: Geograph/Richard Slessor