Jo Churchill MP has called for “Suffolk solutions” to the “chronic case” of poor broadband connectivity. Mrs Churchill wants to see a “Bury and beyond” strategy developed using innovative, local measures to “bring us into the twenty-first century.”
Taking place on Tuesday 1st May in Westminster, the meeting will bring together Openreach, BT, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, local council representatives, farmers and the church together with the Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport, Matt Hancock MP.
The meeting’s aim is to consider how the Bury St Edmunds constituency, flanked by technology hubs like Cambridge and Martelsham, can utilise this unique position to deliver a bespoke broadband strategy and inform other rural areas.
According to Ofcom, average broadband speeds in Bury St Edmunds are 39% lower than the national average. Mrs Churchill’s own survey concluded residents were “deeply dissatisfied” with their current broadband service, with some residents receiving no provision at all.
Speaking ahead of the summit, Mrs Churchill said: “Progress to 100% country-wide coverage is too slow for residents and businesses to wait.
I want to be trialling new plans to connect our county, starting with my Bury St Edmunds constituency which amongst the worst affected areas.
There is a collective will to make this happen. This meeting will be the first to ask ‘how’ and ‘what’ can we make of it.”