Speeding up success

PUBLISHED: 09:18 17 February 2014

The new lambs at Wroxham Barns say yes to better broadband in Norfolk
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The new lambs at Wroxham Barns say yes to better broadband in Norfolk PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

Norfolk is buzzing with entrepreneurial and creative spirit and, thanks to the internet, these fantastic businesses and ideas are now being shared with the rest of the world.

Whether it is a mother sewing beautiful textiles in her bedroom or a specialist food company operating from a farm, it gives talented and driven individuals the chance to launch a business without huge financial risk. It also means they can grow their business at their own pace and best of all - especially in a county like Norfolk - it removes geographical limits.

In recent years, online companies have quickly evolved and now, most start-ups are also relying on the clever use of social media to get their names known and to spark interest and traffic to their websites. Yet, for many, their attempts to grow their companies have been hampered by the poor access to fast broadband speeds compared to other parts of the countries. Indeed, the partnership between Norfolk County Council and BT for Better Broadband for Norfolk says that this could stimulate an additional 1337 jobs within the county and add £88m gross value added to Norfolk as well as giving opportunities to tens of thousands of people who currently don’t have access to even a basic broadband service.

The internet has allowed some fantastic creative individuals to grow their businesses all over Norfolk, without needing to relocate to a more traditional commercial centre in order to grow their business. Not only is that beneficial to the local economy, but it is also creating a buzzing scene which will in turn attract more investment.

But without access to fast reliable broadband, the county is placed at a distinct disadvantage. Last year, after a major of campaign by our sister newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press - Say Yes to Better Broadband, as well as the Let’s Get Connected call for better mobile and broadband coverage - along with the county’s businesses, politicians and communities, the first areas to benefit from Norfolk’s Better Broadband project were revealed, with more set to follow.

Around 3500 properties, in 30 locations, including parts of Thetford, Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth, and rural villages such as Emneth, Gressenhall, Letheringsett, South Wootton and Saxlingham, have been earmarked for an improvement in services.

These will be the first to benefit from the £41m Better Broadband partnership between Norfolk County Council and BT to connect the isolated spots which would not be commercially viable without publicly funded intervention. The aim is that by the end of 2015 more than 80pc of Norfolk’s premises will have access to superfast broadband and all of Norfolk will be able to access a minimum broadband speed of at least 2Mbps.

Take a look at www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk to find out more about your area of the county.

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