Rural full-fibre specialists County Broadband has announced exciting plans to grow its workforce to create a 270-strong team by the end of 2022 to support its rollout across the East of England.
After securing an additional £100 million in private investment from Aviva Investors earlier this year, building on the £46 million achieved back in 2018 from the same investment team, the provider plans to further extend its network to 500,000 premises by 2027.
In doing so, County Broadband will create approximately 100 new job roles to help drive its plans and growth while investing in the local economy.
Positions have been created in network operations, design, build, IT, customer services, community engagement and other departments, with around 40 live vacancies at the Essex-based alternative network provider (alt-net).
The workforce investment follows years of rapid growth at County Broadband: it has expanded from just a dozen employees in early 2018 to reach 110 by April 2021. This followed the first £46 million in private investment secured from Aviva Investors in 2018 to launch its rural full-fibre rollout plans.
County Broadband has since grown to 170 employees currently – a 54% increase over the last year – and has now set an ambitious target to reach 270 by Christmas 2022. This will represent a further workforce increase of 170% achieved within eight months.
Lloyd Felton, Founder and Chief Executive of County Broadband, said: “This is another important milestone for County Broadband as we continue to grow our team to build and deliver the future-ready broadband services the East of England so desperately needs.
“As a community provider we are fully committed to supporting local villages and towns, creating job opportunities for the region and investing in the future of local people. We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic individuals to join us at this exciting time.”
Full-fibre broadband uses fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure where fibre optic cables are installed directly into the premises, providing download and uploads speeds of 1,000 Mbps. It replaces fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) copper-based infrastructure on which ‘Superfast’ is based.
County Broadband, founded in 2003, is delivering its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure to over 220 villages across Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire as part of a long-term commitment to digitally future-proof the region.
The full-fibre provider specialises in connecting rural communities that might only have access to Superfast, copper-based fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology that the government has said will need to be upgraded to gigabit-capable alternatives to cope with future connectivity demands.
County Broadband says investment in building full-fibre broadband networks in the local community is crucial to keep up with today’s data demands from consumers and businesses for hybrid working, streaming and accessing online services.
Edward Ring, Training Manager at County Broadband, only joined four months ago and said: “What has already struck me is the fantastic, supportive team culture here. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by everyone at County Broadband.
“I know I’ve joined at a pivotal time in our journey and I have a simple vision: accessible training for everyone. I wholeheartedly believe in the betterment of oneself and there’s already incredible buy-in to this philosophy from every department and every senior manager at County Broadband.
“We have a diverse range of vacancies, both current and planned, so if you’re local to the area, of even if you want to work remote, this is a fantastic time to join a growing company that promises to invest in your career development and skills within a caring, ambitious and fun environment.”
Meanwhile, Julie Goddard, a Customer Connection Supervisor in the Customer Connections team, joined County Broadband from the National Trust last month and previously worked in hospitality.
“I fancied a career change and it’s been an exciting whirlwind so far!,” she said. “I’m keen to learn new things, work hard and achieve job satisfaction – and I know I’m going to benefit from the family-feel culture here where everyone has got your back. The management are also very approachable and helpful, which is making life at County Broadband already so enjoyable.
“Within my role, I help to resolve any issues for our customers, provide advice on how the full-fibre installation will work at their home or business and help coordinate new installations and engineer call-outs.”
County Broadband has also now become an Apprenticeship Levy payer and is planning to recruit local apprentices to help develop the digital skills the region needs.
Residents and businesses can check if they are covered in County Broadband’s rollout by entering their postcode at http://www.countybroadband.co.uk.