From the editor: Sitting on a mountain made clear this very Norfolk issue

Parts of Norfolk are still in the dark ages as far as broadband is concerned. Picture: PA Wire

Parts of Norfolk are still in the dark ages as far as broadband is concerned. Picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA

I'm sat several thousand feet above sea level, surrounded by glorious snow capped mountains enjoying a coffee and having a catch up phone conversation with the wife and eldest son.

Next to me a friend is in the middle of a FaceTime chat with his wife, regaling her with tales from our four-day, quick getaway ski holiday in the French Alps.

It's a scene that couldn't happen in many parts of wonderful Norfolk – and I don't just mean because we're too flat and unable to provide the type of slopes needed for such an activity.

I am of course referring to the fact that too many parts of this county remain in the dark ages when it comes to phone signal and Broadband.

While in Morzine (our ski destination) 4G and clear phone signals were commonplace, even on the most remote of pistes. In some areas of Norfolk we are left with a situation where our photographers regularly have to head to favourite 'hot-spots' to be able to send back content.

I appreciate this is what is known as a 'First World Problem' and that there are many countries who dream of having the sort of electronic access we do enjoy.

There are also many, of course, who like it this way and relish the fact Norfolk remains, shall we say, a little bit old fashioned.

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However, when not only other parts of Europe, but many parts of this country as well, enjoy much greater phone and Internet access, it threatens to do great damage to the prospects of Norfolk's businesses, economy and people.

So many firms that we speak to, a surprising number of them in Norwich, tell us about the damage this issue is causing them.

Granted there have been improvements. Norfolk County Council has done some great work with its Better Broadband for Norfolk campaign to speed up the process.

However, for whatever reason, we still appear to remain far behind the rest of the country.

I hope 2017 is the year that changes.

Now if we could just sort out some snow-filled ski slopes for Norfolk I'd be a very happy man...

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