East Anglia-based full-fibre broadband provider, County Broadband, has announced its first three village networks in south Cambridgeshire have gone live, bringing world-class digital connectivity to thousands of rural residents and businesses.
The 18-month infrastructure projects, funded by a multimillion pound private investment from Aviva Investors to build fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks, have completed in Fowlmere, Newton and Thriplow.
The major boost to Cambridgeshire’s growing digital economy means around 3,000 premises will soon have access to gigabit speeds and greater reliability.
In total, County Broadband has earmarked 36 villages in its south Cambridgeshire rollout amid strong demand to get ‘future-ready’ networks.
FTTP infrastructure is replacing old Victorian ‘Superfast’ part-copper networks that the government has confirmed are no longer fit for purpose and cannot keep pace with modern data demands.
James Salmon, Director of Sales and New Territories at County Broadband, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Fowlmere, Newton and Thriplow to our rapidly-expanding full-fibre network across East Anglia at such a pivotal time to help our region bounce back strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have an exciting rollout in rural south Cambridgeshire and demand for future-ready full-fibre broadband has never been higher. Thousands of residents, many of whom are now remote working, and businesses of all shapes and sizes will benefit from lightning-fast gigabit speeds and bullet-proof reliability thanks to our significant investment in the region’s infrastructure and future prosperity.
“The pandemic has emphasised the harsh reality that Superfast broadband supplied over copper cables is too slow, too unreliable and seriously limits you – especially in rural areas.
“Installing new full-fibre broadband infrastructure at this scale is a complex task and has many challenges. It requires significant planning, resource and time, with each project involving the coordination of highways, landowners, civils works and advanced fibre optic engineering.
“We pledge to continue innovating, working closely with stakeholders, and keeping our communities updated as we continue to overcome the many challenges presented by each project to meet our rollout ambitions. We look forward to connecting many more rural and hard-to-reach areas in south Cambridgeshire over the coming months.”
Full-fibre networks deliver fibre cables directly into premises, replacing existing Superfast connections which are often promoted as fibre but rely on slow copper cables which date to the Victorians and cannot be upgraded to support growing data demands accelerated by the pandemic.
The new FTTP infrastructure provides gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps) – about 11 times faster than the UK average – and can be upgraded to 10,000+ Mbps. The infrastructure provides superior reliability due to its technology and having no copper in the network.
Cable.co.uk’s new reliable Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2021 shows broadband speeds in Western Europe (90 Mbps) are almost twice as fast as the UK (51 Mbps), which is in 43rd position and behind 23 European countries including Germany (60 Mbps) and France (85 Mbps).
The government is relying on privately funded full-fibre specialists like County Broadband to help meet its flagship 2025 target of providing gigabit speeds to 85% of the UK.
Residents and businesses can find out if they are covered in County Broadband’s rollout by entering their postcode at http://www.countybroadband.co.uk.