6th April 2021
Large companies like British Airways are planning to allow staff to split their working lives between the office and home, potentially selling their huge Waterside HQ used by 2,000 employees. BP is another company expecting full-time staff to work from home two days a week.
But is home connectivity in rural Suffolk fast enough to support this massive sea-change in our working lives? For many in the county, ultra-fast broadband is still a dream. How often is the cry “You’ve frozen” part of the ritual of a video conference call?
Soon, with the recent Government announcement of Project Gigabit and Suffolk one of the areas prioritised in the rollout, working from home confirms a cultural shift in our lives.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said: “We’ve already made tremendous progress with Project Gigabit – our national mission to get everyone in the country the fastest broadband on the planet.
“We’ve gone from around 9% coverage in 2019 to 40% now. I’m confident we’ll get to 60% by the end of the year. The challenge is the last 20%, which can’t be delivered commercially – and that’s what our plans are all about.”
To reach gigabit speed broadband in rural Suffolk is a challenge and the government is investing £5bn nationally, but only £1.2bn will be available before 2024.
The issue was a key government commitment, with a promise to bring full fibre and gigabit capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025. That target will not be met, but progress is accelerating.