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Idea of hyperfast broadband wins villagers' backing

PUBLISHED: 15:36 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 01 August 2019

County Broadband held a meeting in Old Buckenham to discuss the possibility of a new Wifi network in the village. Picture: County Broadband

County Broadband held a meeting in Old Buckenham to discuss the possibility of a new Wifi network in the village. Picture: County Broadband

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A meeting to discuss whether hyperfast broadband should be installed in a village has been hailed a success.

Full fibre broadband could be coming to 20 villages around Diss and Thetford. Picture: County BroadbandFull fibre broadband could be coming to 20 villages around Diss and Thetford. Picture: County Broadband

Around 70 people attended a public consultation in Old Buckenham, organised by internet service provider County Broadband, which specialises in rural broadband.

The company said it wanted to gauge whether people in the village would be interested in receiving new, hyperfast fibre broadband, which it claims would be 20 times faster than current average speeds.

Members of the 
County Broadband team met villagers in the village hall and made presentations about what the new network would look like and answered questions about the network.

The company said it was looking for support from 30pc of people in Old Buckenham before agreeing to provide the new network.

Steve Hammond, who lives in the village, said most people at the meeting seemed in favour of the work.

He added: "The meeting was very well attended. Overall a very positive and well received message."

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Old Buckenham is one of around 30 villages that County Broadband are looking to install the new network.

Rob Andrews, head 
of marketing at the company, said those connected to the network could expect to see speeds in the "top seven to eight per cent available in 
the UK" and that the scheme had been incredibly popular in Essex, where it was first rolled out.

Although initially County Broadband would be the only provider available on the network, Mr Andrews said it would look to encourage more companies to use it in the future.

He added that community services such as village halls would be eligible to receive free broadband from the provider.

However some raised concerns about the level of disruption which could be caused during the installation process.

Marian Walsh, 57, said: "If our roads will be dug up to do it then I would rather leave it alone.

"There's been plenty of road works in the village lately."

Mr Andrews said that although there was potential for disruption the company would look for ways to minimise the impact.

He added: "In a lot of circumstances we look to utilise existing infrastructure such as pipes. It wouldn't necessarily mean digging up roads."

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