Thirteen villages in rural Essex on the cusp of securing UK-leading full-fibre broadband of up to 1,000mbps, 20 times faster than the UK average, have been revealed by specialist Hyperfast broadband provider County Broadband, based near Colchester.
Thousands of residents and business owners in 52 villages across East Anglia have already given the green light to have the future-ready network built after last year’s rollout launch, backed by a £46million private investment by Aviva Investors. County Broadband has plans to start engaging with a further 60 villages across the region by the end of 2020.
Local councillors are now urging residents and business owners in the remaining 13 villages in the rollout’s first phase to rally together and support County Broadband with its proposals. The villages are: Frating, Thorrington, Rosewood development (Myland), Langham, West Hanningfield (including part of South Hanningfield), Hempstead, Hazeleigh, Woodham Mortimer, Woodham Walter, Little Maplestead, Mundon, Purleigh and Helions Bumpstead.
There is a minimum threshold of pre-order sign ups from residents and businesses in each village before projects are approved and the network build can begin. Schools and community halls will also receive a free connection and service.
It follows the government’s flagship pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world and forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution”.
Currently, only 10% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 71% in Spain and 89% in Portugal. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to deliver the ambitious plans proposed for gigabit-capable speeds to all premises across the UK by 2025.
David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, said “Having access to an efficient and fast broadband network is an absolute essential for success today and we congratulate County Broadband for the work they are doing to ensure that businesses across the East of England, and especially in Essex, will be able get just that.”
The network would be installed later this year and be available to all premises. County Broadband is providing further information to residents and businesses in the villages including project updates, local village hall meetings and Q&A sessions.
Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed over 130 villages in Essex to our new network and call on the remaining rural communities to consider the benefits of our Hyperfast full-fibre network and seize the opportunity to get future-ready.”
Full-fibre broadband provides lightning-fast speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (mbps) through FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks in which fibre optic cables are connected directly into properties and offices – even in difficult-to-reach rural areas. This means HD films and music can be downloaded in seconds and will support the growing number of devices in the home that rely on an internet connection.
FTTP speeds are up to 20 times faster than superfast broadband which is based on a FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses slow copper cables to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to the home. Speeds typically halve over the first 600 metres of copper cable and continue to lose speed over distance. This restricts the speed capabilities of a broadband service to the home and connections can be unreliable at peak times.
Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.