Image: Copyright – Gregg Brown. Credit – County Broadband
Twelve villages on the Suffolk/Norfolk border have been added to County Broadband’s rollout of full-fibre broadband across the region, backed by £46m from Aviva Investors.
The new FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks provide speeds of up to 1,000Mbps, upgradable to over 10,000Mbps. Thousands of rural homes and businesses will receive the ‘future-ready’ Hyperfast connection, which will be rolled out in the villages of Hinderclay, Hoxne, Redgrave, Stradbroke, Brome & Oakley, Fressingfield, Rickinghall, Botesdale, Syleham and Thelnetham in Suffolk; and Brockdish in Norfolk.
“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,” said James Salmon, head of territory at County Broadband.
“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.”
Salmon said that County Broadband will be engaging with each community via webinars or in-person as lockdown eases to provide further details about how people can register their interest.
The plans aim to support prime minister Boris Johnson’s target of 85 per cent UK-wide gigabit-speed connectivity by 2025, formed as part of the ‘infrastructure revolution’ to support the Covid-19 economic recovery. Deployment of full-fibre broadband could be worth £5.38bn to the East of England economy over the next five years according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The new networks are set to go live by spring 2022 in each community following their approval of the plans.