Better Broadband for Suffolk–Update

A while a go, we wrote about the continuing campaign to get better broadband for Suffolk.

Well, here’s an update for you as reported by EADT24:

SUFFOLK’S MPs gave the proposals to bring in superfast broadband to rural parts of the county a ringing endorsement during a special briefing at Westminster yesterday.

County council leader Mark Bee joined Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Andy Wood and Chris Soule from the Federation of Small Businesses to meet MPs whose constituents are waiting for fast broadband to reach their communities.

All the MPs welcomed the fact that the council was near to choosing which of two providers – believed to be BT and Fujitsu – would carry on the work.

And they were looking forward to the day when work would start on breaking down the “digital divide” that has built up in Suffolk over recent years.

While households in Ipswich and part of Felixstowe can get speeds of up to 120 Mbps through Virgin fibre-optic cables, properties in some rural parts of the county struggle to get 1Mbps.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has constituents on both sides of the digital divide.

He said: “The news about how far we have come is excellent and it is right to note the work that has been put in by the county council, the LEP and the FSB.

“It is great that we are one of the first four areas of the country to take this major step forward.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said it was good news that rural areas would be among the first reached, but work would also continue to improve services to enterprise zones which was vital for boosting business.

Mr Bee said communities with some of the slowest broadband speeds in Suffolk would be among the first to have work completed.

The first properties to be linked up should be at the end of this year with the first programme completed by the spring of 2015.

Ultimately the aim was to bring superfast broadband to all properties in Suffolk by 2020.

Narrowing the digital divide

A recent article posted by ThisisMoney.co.uk highlights that it’s not just Suffolk that’s struggling with woeful broadband speeds.

They report that, according to figures from the Federation of Small Business, 63% of firms (from a survey of 3,000 small businesses) in rural areas are dissatisfied with the speed of their broadband connection. That’s in direct contrast to 48% in urban areas.

Despite the Government’s pledge to create 10 ‘super-connected’ cities by 2015, the FSB believes that they are not going far enough to help rural businesses. In fact, this will have the effect of widening the gap.

The FSB are calling for a rollout of 20 Mbps superfast broadband to 98% of rural communities and businesses to help ‘close the digital divide between urban and rural businesses.’

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

How Broad is Your Broadband?

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We’ve all seen the adverts for super fast broadband and are well aware of the controversy of the ‘up to’ speeds that are advertised.

The speed (and reliability) of broadband is very varied depending on where you live in the country with many people unaware of what speed they are actually receiving.

How about your connection speed? Does the time of day have an effect on your broadband’s performance? Are there times when you simply can’t get online?

A fast and reliable broadband connection is vital for our daily lives be it for email, internet surfing or normal business communications. So can you be sure you’re getting the best speed?

If you live in Suffolk you’re in luck as it is possible to check your current broadband line to see if there is a better service you can use.

It’s not all about speed

As with most things you get what you pay for. Therefore the less you pay, in general, the slower the speed. Plus a leased line (i.e. dedicated line of just 2Mbps) can actually give you a better performance than a normal contended line (i.e. a shared line of say 6Mbps).

Of course nothing in life is that simple as leased lines are not cheap, but there are other options…

Types of broadband

“What! There’s more than one?” I head you cry.

Yes indeed. For every business there is a range of business broadband contracts available:

  • ADSL
  • ADSL 2+
  • SDSL
  • Bonded Broadband
  • Leased line etc…

Your local IT Support Company can help you review the options available to find your best fit. Not only that they’ll also make all the arrangements to transform  your internet experience.

So what are you waiting for? Don’t put up with your slow connection, check out your other options and get more from your broadband.

BT Upgrades

BT upgrades There has been a lot in the press recently about broadband speeds and the such like. So what’s going on? Are the telecom giants actually trying to help us out with higher speeds and better connectivity?

Well, one such giant, BT, is in the process of a fibre rollout. But, at the same time, they are also continuing to upgrade exchanges for the slower ADSL2+ services. It has been reported that a further 199 exchanges have been added to its upgrade list which should benefit from up to 20Mbits/sec broadband by Spring 2011.

Hmm, there’s that phrase again ‘up to’ – but that’s another story.

It is hoped that when this latest rollout is complete, three quarters of the UK will be connected to ADSL2+ or fibre broadband lines. Plus they are trialling a ‘priority class of service’ for ADSL2+ business customers which will begin this autumn.

What’s your broadband like where you are? We’d love to hear your experiences and what speeds you’re getting in relation to what you were promised.

Author: MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.