12 villages set to receive some of UK's fastest ever broadband
- Credit: Steve Brading
Thousands of homes in 12 rural villages on the Norfolk and Suffolk border are set to get some of the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds in the country - as part of a £46million private investment.
Hinderclay, Hoxne, Palgrave, Redgrave, Stradbroke, Brome and Oakley, Fressingfield, Rickinghall, Botesdale, Syleham and Thelnetham in Suffolk, as well as Brockdish in Norfolk, are set to get speeds of up to 1,000Mbps - 18 times faster than the UK average.
The new networks are set to go live by spring 2022 in each community which approves the plans, which would benefit 5,000 homes.
James Salmon, head of territory at County Broadband, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how crucial having fast and reliable internet has become, and while people were happy with 40 to 50Mbps provided with Superfast fibre services yesterday, that is no longer sufficient today, let alone next year.
“The harsh reality, especially in rural areas, is that broadband supplied over copper cables is slow and unreliable, and is limiting what people can do, from working from home to simply staying in touch with a loved one over Zoom.
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“That’s why we’re excited to announce that thousands of rural residents and local businesses on the Suffolk/Norfolk border can join our future-ready Hyperfast full-fibre to the property rollout.
"We look forward to engaging with each community, whether that’s via webinars or in person as lockdown eases, to provide further details about our plans and how they can register their interest online.”
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The high speeds are possible because the new network would be fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) cables, which go directly into people's homes.
They can also be upgraded to give even faster speeds in future.
They would replace existing Superfast copper cables, which are often slow and cannot be upgraded.
The private investment comes from Aviva Investors.
Penny Morgan, development manager and area lead, FSB East Anglia, said: “Poor digital infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, has been a long-standing issue for local companies.
"Therefore, this is great news for small businesses in East Anglia.
"The FSB have lobbied hard for better digital connectivity and infrastructure to help local firms facilitate and grow their businesses in the area.
"This will be welcome news to many businesses and individuals.”
Full-fibre broadband could be worth £5.38billion to the East of England economy over the next five years, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
Residents can find out if they are in the rollout area by visiting www.countybroadband.co.uk