County Broadband, a specialist rural full-fibre network and broadband provider, has announced 14 villages in south Norfolk have signed up to join its new Hyperfast full-fibre broadband network with a further 14 villages in the county on the cusp of securing the 1,000mbps connection.
The firm is now urging the remaining villages to rally together and approve plans to build the new future-ready infrastructure to receive internet speeds 20 times faster than the UK average.
Thousands of residents and business owners across East Anglia have already given the green light to have the future-ready network built after last year’s rollout launch, backed by a £46million private investment by Aviva Investors. County Broadband has plans to start engaging with a further 60 villages across the region by the end of 2020.
There is a minimum threshold of pre-order sign ups from residents and businesses in each village before projects are approved and the network build can begin. Schools and community halls will also receive a free connection and service.
Following the announcement, one of the first to order in the village: John Johnson-Allen, who lives in Great Moulton and is Chairman of the Parish Council, commented: “My fellow councillors and I all enthusiastically supported full-fibre broadband coming to the village. It is a fantastic opportunity which will benefit the whole community. As other local villages are also taking the wonderful opportunity which we have been given, nearby communities will also benefit from lightning fast speeds after years of average speeds of 20mbps.
“We are delighted that Great Moulton has reached the threshold and we are now looking forward to receiving the full benefits of full-fibre broadband. On a personal level, as a historian and author, the increased speeds will be a huge help in my research.”
It follows the government’s flagship pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world and forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution”.
Currently, only 10% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 71% in Spain and 89% in Portugal. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to deliver the ambitious plans proposed for gigabit-capable speeds to all premises across the UK by 2025.
The network would be built and installed later this year and be available to all premises which pre-order a service. County Broadband is providing further information to residents and businesses in the villages including project updates, local village hall meetings and Q&A sessions.
Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed over 130 villages across East Anglia to our network and are pleased to announce further rural communities in Norfolk in our roll-out plans. We call on councillors and residents to consider the benefits of our Hyperfast full-fibre network and sign up now.”
Full-fibre broadband provides lightning-fast speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) through FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks in which fibre optic cables are connected directly into properties and offices – even in difficult-to-reach rural areas. This means HD films and music can be downloaded in seconds and will support the growing number of devices in the home that rely on an internet connection.
FTTP speeds are up to 20 times faster than superfast broadband which is based on a FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses slow copper cables to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to the home. Speeds typically halve over the first 600 metres of copper cable and continue to lose speed over distance. This restricts the speed capabilities of a broadband service to the home and connections can be unreliable at peak times.