National recognition for growing Colchester full-fibre broadband firm

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Lloyd Felton , chief executive, and James Salmon, head of sales of County Broadband
Lloyd Felton , chief executive, and James Salmon, head of sales (Photo: Warren Page)

County Broadband, an Essex-based provider rolling out hyperfast full-fibre networks across rural East Anglia, is celebrating its first-ever national recognition after being shortlisted in the most prestigious awards event for the UK’s internet industry.

The specialist rural provider has been unveiled as a finalist in the Best Rural ISP (Internet Service Provider) category at the ISPA Awards 2020, run by the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK).

County Broadband is rolling out Hyperfast full-fibre networks to rural and remote premises in the region following a £46 million private investment from Aviva Investors, providing access to some of the UK’s best speeds to residents and businesses and boosting local economies.

The news comes after the firm grew its business by 500% in 2019, putting thousands of local premises in the UK’s top 12% for digital connectivity during lockdown.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, based in Aldham, said: “We are very excited to have achieved our first-ever national recognition with this shortlisting. It recognises the hard work of our employees, and it’s nice to have something such as this to celebrate, particularly during such challenging and difficult times.

“The shortlisting is testament to our rapid growth, investment in local people and skills, and our community engagement. Thousands of residents and businesses fed up with poor rural digital connectivity have given the green light to have our network built in their village.

“The coronavirus lockdown has shown just how outdated our broadband infrastructure is and the importance of fast, reliable connections. We look forward to connecting thousands more rural and hard-to-reach premises across rural East Anglia over the coming months.”

County Broadband’s Hyperfast full-fibre network is being built in over 50 villages in Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, with plans to connect 20,000 premises by Christmas 2020.

Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps are available – 18 times faster than the UK average and 10 times faster than copper-based superfast broadband that dates back to the Victorian period.

Andrew Glover, chair of the ISPA, said: “This year’s shortlisted ISPA Awards finalists demonstrate the high calibre and diversity of ISPs across the UK, who continue to drive growth and innovation across the internet industry.”

The winners of the 22nd annual awards will be announced on 18 November 2020. See the full shortlist here:

Residents and businesses can visit and enter their postcode to see if the network is available in their area.