Work begins to connect Cornish Hall End to County Broadband’s full fibre ultrafast network

April 2019
Construction has begun to bring some of the UK’s fastest internet speeds to a rural village near Braintree – one of the first in Essex to receive ultrafast full fibre broadband.

Construction has begun to bring some of the UK’s fastest internet speeds to a rural village near Braintree – one of the first in Essex to receive ultrafast full fibre broadband.

Braintree District councillor Peter Schwier (pictured below, far right) officially launched the full fibre network in Cornish Hall End at the village’s new communications cabinet on 15 April. The community is among the first villages in the county which has chosen to connect to the next generation service, which is rolling out across East Anglia.

The ultrafast full fibre network has been launched by County Broadband, a specialist rural broadband provider based in Aldham, near Colchester, following the announcement of a successful private investment giving access to £46 million of funding to transform digital connectivity across the region.

Commenting on the milestone, Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband (pictured below, middle), who also attended the cabinet unveiling, said: “This is an exciting day for Essex and we’re delighted to soon be welcoming Cornish Hall End as the first rural community in the county to join our new full fibre network, significantly changing the way residents and business owners live, work and play.”

The village expressed enough demand to give the provider the go-ahead to invest in the installation of its new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure to approximately 60 properties in the village.

The future-ready FTTP network provides ultrafast reliable speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) directly into homes and businesses. Such speeds are over 20 times faster than the UK average, and even 10 times faster than superfast broadband, placing Cornish Hall End in the top 6% nationwide for digital connectivity.

Local home and business owners will have the choice of upgrading to the new ultrafast network or remain with their current broadband provider, which relies on old copper telephone lines dating back to the Victorian period.

Mr Felton added: “Our FTTP infrastructure will propel forgotten villages across East Anglia into the 21st Century and beyond, whilst delivering significant investment in their long-term prosperity. It will also ensure they are fit for the future when every community will need ultrafast speeds to keep up with increasing digital demands.”

In Cornish Hall End, new fibre cables are being laid to install the FTTP network, allowing users to download HD films in seconds, take full advantage of online streaming services including on-demand TV, and allow the whole family, or every employee, to enjoy fast, uninterrupted internet access.

The government announced last year that the entire UK should have access to full fibre by 2033 to catch up with the rest of the world. Data usage is also predicted to increase tenfold every six years and only ultrafast full fibre solutions will match this requirement.

Councillor Peter Schwier of Braintree District Council said: “I am delighted that County Broadband is rolling out full fibre broadband to the vitally important rural areas of Braintree District.

“This new network is an ambitious schedule to full fibre-enable rural properties, dramatically improving speed, bandwidth and quality. It is not only needed today but future-proofs our rural communities and businesses and will enable everyone to enjoy the choice and benefits of unlimited, ultrafast broadband.”

The new ultrafast broadband service in Cornish Hall End will be fully operational by the beginning of May. Work will also commence at Cold Norton on the Dengie Peninsula in May with additional villages including Foxearth, Pentlow, Gestingthorpe, Bulmer, Stambourne, Wickham St Paul and Pebmarsh following shortly afterwards.

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County Broadband’s full fibre ultrafast broadband is rolling out to other East Anglia rural communities. Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend public meetings to find out more details and place a pre-order to secure their digital future.

The expansion is not dependent upon government funding or financial contributions from home or business owners, as the construction of the entirely new network is made possible by access to a £46m investment by Aviva Investors.

In order to justify the significant expenditure, County Broadband requests that 30% of the local community sign-up for the new service in order to commence construction. There will, however, be nothing to pay until there is a fully operational connection and the monthly payments – similar to any other utility bill.

County Broadband, which also provides a wireless internet service, was established in Aldham, Essex, in 2003, and currently has over 3,000 customers across East Anglia.