Battisford: Parish chairman calls for roll-out of super-fast broadband

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Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Thursday, April 10, 2014
7:00 AM

Investment in a village’s broadband service, as part of a £5million package, must come as “quickly as possible”, according to the parish chairman.

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Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council and David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, visited Battisford, near Stowmarket, to update residents on their plans to improve broadband speeds.

Residents have complained of slow internet speeds affecting homeowners and businesses.

The village, along with others in Mid Suffolk like Haughley Green, had faced the possibility of being left out of the county council’s super-fast broadband roll-out. BT, which was responsible for the roll-out to large parts of the villages, had been struggling to make the economic case to increase the speeds.

Chris Knock, chairman of Battisford Parish Council, said: “Obviously there is still frustration in the village with the poor quality of the existing service - the parish council is still receiving complaints about it.

“We understand that there’s a process to go through and obviously we are very keen that we are seen as a priority by Suffolk County Council – that’s what they are telling us.

“We were very keen to impress on people that we want to see these changes as quickly as possible.”

Mr Knock said he was arranging a meeting in September where county council officials could further detail when the village’s broadband would be upgraded. He added this was due to happen at some point next year.

Mr Ruffley said: “They seemed happy on the face of it that there is this extra money that would not have otherwise been in the hands of BT but is now as a result of my intervention.

“Suffolk is one of the first shire counties to get this extra cash, it’s all going along swimmingly.”

The £4.82million funding comes from the Government’s Superfast Extension Programme – designed to give 95% of the UK access to superfast broadband by 2017.

BT said it had previously been in contact with the parish council and taken on and investigated some individual service issues. A spokesman said they would be happy to look into any issues raised.

Aldeburgh, Framlingham and Wickham Market will be the next towns to benefit from superfast broadband.

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