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Broadband scheme ahead of schedule

Super-fast broadband is to be introduced to every home and business in Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A scheme to bring super-fast broadband to every home and business across Suffolk is already three months ahead of schedule.

The county council and BT will celebrate the arrival of high speed internet to communities in Lowestoft today, 6 August.

It's the first of 16 across Suffolk which, by the end of September, will have access to speeds of at least two mega-bits-per-second.

By the end of 2015, every home and business in Suffolk will have access to the technology.

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Speeding up broadband in rural areas

There has been a warning that thousands of internet users in the region won't get the broadband speed they've been promised.

The National Audit Office has picked out Suffolk and Norfolk as two of only four counties that won't reach Government targets of 90% of people getting super-fast internet connection by 2015.

That date has already slipped by nearly two years although Suffolk County Council says it is on target to deliver 85% superfast broadband.

The report comes on the day that Croxton near Thetford became the first village in the country to get a new fibre-optic service as part of the national broadband delivery scheme.

Click below to watch a report by ITV Anglia's Kate Prout

Suffolk says 85% will have superfast broadband by 2015

Suffolk says it's on target for 85% with superfast broadband by 2015 Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Suffolk County Council says it's on target to have superfast broadband in 85% of homes in the county in two years.

A report by the National Audit Office said Suffolk was one of four areas in the country that would fail to meet a government target of 90% having high-speed internet access.

Suffolk says more than 8,000 properties would have better broadband by Christmas 2013.

The rest of the programme would be delivered by 2015 with every household having access to at least 2 MegaBits per second download speed.

Mark Bee, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said: "We consulted with residents and businesses about the kind of broadband service they wanted. They told us that they would rather we rolled out superfast broadband to 85% of the population with the remaining 15% receiving an improved broadband speed."

How much is being spent on speeding the broadband in your area?

A government target of getting superfast broadband into 90% of homes by 2015 is running two years behind schedule.

The high-speed internet access would be 24 Megabits per second or higher.

There was a wide-range of government funding allocations in the Anglia region which were based of a finance model of broadband need:

  • £15.4 million for Norfolk
  • £14.3 million for Lincolnshire
  • £11.7 million for Suffolk
  • £6.8 million for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • £6.5 million for Essex
  • £4.2 million for Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
  • £4.1 million for Northamptonshire
  • £2.0 million for Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

Norfolk and Suffolk projected to fail broadband target

Norfolk and Suffolk could fail superfast broadband roll-out targets to 90% of the population. Credit: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/DPA/Press Association Images

Norfolk and Suffolk are among only four areas of the UK that are currently projected to fail to meet a government target on high-speed broadband roll-out.

The government has set a target of 90% of homes connected to superfast computer networks by March 2017.

The National Audit Office says Norfolk and Suffolk won't meet that target and more funding may be needed in the two counties.

So far £15.4 million has been allocated in Norfolk and £11.7 million in Suffolk.

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Cambs villages first in line for superfast broadband

Four villages near Cambridge will be among the first in South Cambs for superfast broadband Credit: ITV Anglia

Four villages near Cambridge are among the first in South Cambridgeshire to be considered for the roll-out of superfast broadband.

Elsworth, Graveley, Papworth and Willingham are among the first that could be included in the first tranche of broadband across the county.

Business and residents are being reassured that many other South Cambridgeshire areas will be reached by subsequent phases of the roll-out in 2014, with every community being reached by the end of 2015.

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s lead member for economic development, said: “We understand that people may be disappointed that only a few of our villages are being considered for the first phase.

“We’re one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and our businesses are crying out for up to date technology infrastructure, which is why we’re working with the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme to bid for extra Government funding to get the best possible outcome for our district.”

Survey finds Northampton in broadband slow lane

Broadband lottery

Britain faces a broadband "postcode lottery" with dramatic variations in speed within cities and towns, despite the increasing availability of 4G, a new study suggests.

In the worst case - Birmingham - there is a difference of up to 89% between the fastest and slowest broadband, the report found. Northampton was the fourth worst with a 78% difference between fast and slow according to uSwitch.com.

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