“Robust discussions” and “need for a working group” lead Broadband Summit agenda

The Summit held “robust discussions” around the 92% broadband coverage already available across Suffolk and the challenges to delivering both broadband and mobile connectivity to the remaining premises.

Jo Churchill MP has called for a working group to be setup to see a “Bury and beyond” strategy developed to in response to the meetings discussions.

The meeting brought heads of Openreach, BT, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Suffolk County Council together with Jo Churchill MP for Bury St Edmunds and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock MP.

Joining with them were representatives from the farming community and the church to help drive the need for “Suffolk solutions” to poor broadband connectivity.

The meeting discussed various options including the use of church spires to deliver mobile and broadband masts and how farm land could be utilised.

The meeting closed with a series of commitments from BT, Openreach and Better Broadband for Suffolk which will be picked up as a working group goes forward.

After chairing the meeting, Jo Churchill said:“This has been a crucial opportunity to get around the table and to begin to address the challenges we will face to reach our ambition of 100% coverage.

This is no small task but our resolve is clear. That is why I have called for a working group to be established from the Summit, to ensure, together, we are hitting targets and, above all, communicating progress to local residents.

Furthermore, I want to reassure my constituents that I will continue to do all I can to represent their concerns to Openreach, and ensure they receive answers and action to the source of so much frustration for many.”

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP said: "The Government's rollout of superfast broadband has already helped take superfast speeds to more than 92% of Suffolk, but we know more needs to be done.

Right around the UK we are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week, and we are making high speed, affordable broadband a legal right for everyone in the UK by 2020."

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO said: “I would like to thank Jo Churchill for getting everyone back together.

I am grateful for the opportunity to give an update on all the work we have been doing to improve broadband connectivity in the area and to reinforce our commitment to continue working closely with all parties to help resolve issues raised.”