Techno row erupts

A WAR of words has broken out between one of the best-known high-technology businesses in Ipswich and Civic Centre bosses.Ipswich Council and KeConnect were partners in establishing the IP-City concept two years ago.

A WAR of words has broken out between one of the best-known high-technology businesses in Ipswich and Civic Centre bosses.

Ipswich Council and KeConnect were partners in establishing the IP-City concept two years ago.

But now they've fallen out after KeConnect asked the council to provide facilities to allow a high-speed internet connection to be provided for the Chantry area.

KeConnect is an internet service provider, and has been attempting to build a broadband network for its customers in the Ipswich area.

It has also been working with Oli Watts on his Pupiline web pages which provide advice and help for school students across the country.

Chantry High School had hoped to log into the Pupiline service – but this was causing problems because it only has a dial-up connection.

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Mr Kemp wanted to provide it with a wireless broadband link which would have to be beamed from a high point in the town centre. The highest building in central Ipswich is Civic Centre.

However when he first contacted officials he was disappointed by their response.

"I spoke to someone at the council who was totally uninterested in the idea," said Mr Kemp.

"She indicated it was 'just too much hassle' to get involved. This was most disappointing as KeConnect has received excellent co-operation with IBC in the past on other projects."

Mr Kemp said he was eventually quoted a price of £15,000 a year to install a broadband transmitter on the roof of Civic Centre.

"That is completely over the top, I have compared this quote with other places – the going rate is about £2,500 to £3,000 a year," he said.

A spokesman for the borough council said Chantry High School had never been mentioned in their discussions with KeConnect about the siting of a transmitter on the roof at Civic Centre.

The plan had been for a commercial transmitted to provide services for homes and businesses throughout south west Ipswich.

The council had quoted a figure based on this and on the rent they charge other commercial businesses to site transmitters on the roof of Civic Centre.

Officials would be happy to discuss any problems about this with Mr Kemp and his company.

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