Internet upgrade

Areas in Sudbury, Hadleigh and Whatfield will be among the first to see an early upgrade to high-speed fibre optic broadband.

Suffolk County Council announced on Monday that roadside cabinets providing broadband technology to houses in the areas of Lucas Road, Sudbury, Lady Lane in Hadleigh and Whatfield will be in the first group of 16 to be upgraded to the new technology.

The work was originally expected to be finished by the end of the year but householders will now be able to order the new technology by the end of September after engineers identified cabinets where the existing technology could be upgraded quickly.

Chris Storey, chairman of Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been working with Suffolk County Council, BT and the Suffolk Broadband Project to press for the early introduction of high speed broadband in and around Sudbury.

“We are delighted that this constant reminder of the importance of this area has been recognised along with others and that we can expect early roll out in this area.”

The county council hopes the move will allow businesses to work more efficiently and estimates the project will provide a £2billion boost to the county’s economy, creating 1,500 jobs over the next 15 years.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that people in Suffolk are already seeing the benefits of this programme.

“This investment in fibre optic broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs across the whole of Suffolk.”

Suffolk County Council has warned that the roadside cabinets serve very localised areas so not all homes and businesses nearby will be able to benefit from the initial upgrades, and has recommended that people who think they could be eligible check using www.betterbroadbandsuffolk.com.