Around 20,000 rural homes and businesses in Constable Country have been earmarked to get full-fibre broadband built in their village and receive some of the fastest and most reliable connections in the UK, community broadband provider County Broadband has announced.
Fifteen villages on the Suffolk/Essex border including East Bergholt, Capel St Mary and Brantham have been added to County Broadband’s rollout of Hyperfast full-fibre broadband.
The new FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks provide speeds of 1,000 Mbps to each property – about 11 times faster than the UK average. What’s more they can be upgraded to over 10,000 Mbps when the need arises. FTTP infrastructure also provides far greater reliability as it has no copper in the network.
County Broadband is engaging with over 150 villages in East Anglia and the 15 villages in South Suffolk added to its rollout are: Bentley, Brantham, Capel St. Mary, Copdock and Washbrook, East Bergholt, Higham, Holton St. Mary, Layham, Leavenheath, Nayland-with-Wissington, Polstead, Raydon, Stoke-by-Nayland, Stratford St. Mary, and Wenham Magna.
James Salmon, Director of Sales and New Territories at County Broadband, said: “The pandemic has shown just how crucial having fast and reliable internet has become, and while people might have been happy with 40 to 50 Mbps speeds yesterday, that is no longer sufficient today, let alone next year. Our increasing internet consumption continues to grow and as more speed is available, more technology will use it.
“The harsh reality, especially in rural areas, is that broadband supplied over copper cables is simply too slow, too unreliable and it seriously limits what people can do – from home entertainment to flexible and home working.
“Installing new infrastructure on this scale is a complex task, requiring significant planning and can take time to deliver. It involves the coordination of highways, landowners, civils works and advanced fibre optic engineering. Designing and building this multi-million-pound rural infrastructure takes around 12-18 months, meaning the full-fibre networks could be live by Christmas 2022.
“We look forward to engaging with each community, whether that’s via webinars or in person, to provide further details about our dedicated plans and how people can register their interest online.”
Residents and businesses can find out if they are in the rollout area by visiting www.countybroadband.co.uk and entering their postcode. County Broadband engagement teams will hold public meetings and online webinar events for each village over the coming months to explain the rollout and answer questions.
A spokesperson from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce added: “We welcome the rollout of full-fibre to more rural locations within Suffolk and this is exactly what is needed with the growing number of people working from home, ordering online, and the further demand on digital infrastructure. This is a great step forward for our county and we look forward to more rollouts in the future.”
Full-fibre networks deliver fibre cables directly into homes and businesses, replacing existing Superfast connections which are often promoted as fibre but rely on slow copper cables which date back to the Victorians and cannot be upgraded to support growing data demands.
The deployment of full-fibre broadband could be worth £5.38bn to the East of England economy, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.