Broadband mast bid for mid-Norfolk village

Horningtoft village sign

Horningtoft village sign - Credit: Pauline Chapman

Faster broadband speeds could be just around the corner for a rural village after the parish council decided to apply to erect a new mast.

Currently speeds in Horningtoft, between Dereham and Fakenham, are well below the 2MB minimum download speed that the government is aiming to deliver to the whole country by the end of 2016.

Parish council clerk Bryan Leigh said although the main part of the village, which on the last electoral role accounted for 136 people, was due to be connected to fibre optic next year, it was felt that it could take longer and it was unfair on residents to delay.

An application has been submitted to Breckland Council for a 12-metre high low impact wireless repeater mast which would be sited at Town & Country Conservatories on Whissonsett Road.

ThinkingWisp, a partnership of Norfolk-based organisations Community Action Norfolk, AF Affinity and InTouch Systems, would provide a fast reliable wireless internet service to give good coverage for the village.

Mr Leigh said: 'Most of the village is on the Tittleshall exchange and that is too far away for fibre at the moment.

'The only cost to the parish is the planning application and the parish council has enough in reserves for that without increasing its precept.'

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In a letter to planners parish councillor Pauline Chapman wrote: 'Horningtoft residents are amongst the five percent of the population who do not receive a minimum of 2MB of Broadband download, in fact some properties do not receive any service and others less than 0.5MB. Horningtoft is a dispersed village and a superfast broadband from BT is a long way off.'

She added that 20 residents and local businesses had already signed up to receive the service upon completion.

* Does your village suffer from poor Broadband speeds? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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