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Sudbury to help form spine of proposed new high-speed broadband network for Suffolk


By Jason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter


Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (5907495)
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (5907495)

Sudbury will help form the spine of a new multi-million pound scheme for a high-speed fibre broadband network across Suffolk, which project bosses believe will be revolutionary for the region.

At a Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting earlier this month, which featured the leaders and chief executives of local authorities, it was confirmed that telecommunications firm MLL and CityFibre will be delivering the infrastructure.

The scheme has been funded by £5.9 million from central government, announced during the recent budget, alongside a collective £6 million put in by the local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, police and NHS hospital trusts, which will use the network.

It means a countywide infrastructure of fibre network can be laid in Suffolk, which will initially be used for public sector organisations before being opened up.

A total of 10 towns have been chosen for the start of the scheme, with work starting in January and expected to take 15 to 18 months.

Along with Sudbury, the network’s spine will comprise Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft, Haverhill, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Newmarket, Mildenhall and Woodbridge.

Neil Woolerton, director of client management at MLL, said it would deliver a “long-term investment in fibre infrastructure to future proof speeds no less than 1GB”.

He said: “It allows people to work from anywhere anytime so we are really excited to be involved in this project.”

It is believed the project will be worth anywhere between £40 million and £75 million in wider benefits over the next 20 years alone once it has been established.

It comes on top of the council’s commitment to provide superfast broadband to the entire county.

Chris Bally, deputy chief executive at Suffolk County Council, said: “Continuing to invest in our network in Suffolk is really important for productivity,” adding that it would “underpin future public service delivery”.



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