Here is the latest Community Action Suffolk update from Better Broadband for Suffolk…
Community Action Suffolk has for some time now been on the Better Broadband Suffolk Partnership Board, which Suffolk County Council set up at the start of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, to improve engagement with the variety of communities across Suffolk.
Alongside other key partners such as the business community, police, Suffolk Association with Local Councils, farming community, Ipswich Borough Council, to name a few we are able to gain access to the latest news on the roll out and to also feed back concerns from communities across Suffolk about the provision and speed of broadband.
Contract 1 Update
Suffolk County Council is nearing the end of phase 1 of it’s Better Broadband for Suffolk programme. Due to complete at the end of September 2015, 105,000 premises will have been given the ability to sign up to superfast broadband. This is 2 months ahead of their scheduled completion and 5000 more premises have been covered in this phase than originally planned. To date there has been an average of 24.75% take-up of superfast fibre broadband from the premises that can get the new faster service. Because it has passed the 20% take up rate, a significant amount of public money given to BT, as the contractor of the programme, has now been returned and will be re-invested into later phases of the programme so that Suffolk County Council’s commitment of 100% of properties covered by Superfast Broadband can be met.
How do I find out more accurately when I will get Superfast Broadband?
Currently BT and Suffolk County Council are re-modelling who will get Superfast Fibre Broadband in their area, and when this will occur, in the 2nd Suffolk contract which technically has already started. This 2nd contract will continue to run until 2018 when over 95% of premises in Suffolk will be able to access the improved service. Remodelling should be complete in the next few weeks and will be made public around late November. In our last update we informed you that we hoped there would be more detailed information by Autumn, however this has been slightly delayed. Please keep an eye on the Better Broadband for Suffolk website and use the My Location checker nearer this time when much more detailed information will be available to you. If you do need the information ahead of late November it may be possible for us to work with the team at Suffolk County Council to get you some news before this date if you give us your telephone number and postcode. Whilst we can’t guarantee you that they will have this information we will do our best. Please email Matthew Morling at [email protected] or phone him on 01473 345321.
When you are told that your telephone exchange has been activated for Fibre Broadband it is not automatic that your property receives the upgrade. To experience the increase in speeds you need to speak to your Internet Service Provider to ask them whether you can upgrade your existing product.
Voucher Scheme for 2Mbps Commitment
In our last update, you may have seen that for those individuals or businesses who get less than 2Mbps, that there was a voucher scheme coming for the installation of a temporary satellite broadband solution so that this minimum service guarantee can be met. In fact the Satellite service should be able to provide speeds well in excess of this minimum guarantee. We can provide some further news on this now. This voucher scheme should be active by the end of October and eligible people will be for those who get less than 2Mbps, can’t currently get Superfast Fibre Broadband and won’t be getting Superfast Fibre Broadband in the next 12 months.
If you are someone who currently meets this criteria then keep an eye on the Better Broadband for Suffolk website where further information will be published. The voucher scheme will provide you a voucher for the majority of the installation cost (worth between £300-400) and the only requirement is that you pay the monthly service charge, as you may already do to your current Internet Service Provider. This monthly service charge will be in-line with current market rates and you will have a choice of between 3-4 providers when the scheme is launched. We also will endeavour to keep people updated within these newsletters when we have more news on it. Please note the eligibility criteria and eligibility process will be administered by Suffolk County Council.
Matthew Morling, IT Manager
Community Action Suffolk