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Company starts work to boost villages with 'full fibre' broadband roll-out

PUBLISHED: 14:13 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:33 24 September 2019

L-R Telec engineer; Jean Absalom, Eight Ash Green Parish Council chairman; Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband; Lesley Scott-Boutell, councillor for Dale Close in Stanway; James Salmon, County Broadband; Peter Butler, operations director at Telec; Telec engineer  Pictures: County Broadband

L-R Telec engineer; Jean Absalom, Eight Ash Green Parish Council chairman; Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband; Lesley Scott-Boutell, councillor for Dale Close in Stanway; James Salmon, County Broadband; Peter Butler, operations director at Telec; Telec engineer Pictures: County Broadband

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An East Anglian internet service provider, which recently secured a multi-million pound investment to deliver ultrafast broadband to villages in the region, has started its first major roll-out.

County Broadand starts  roll-out of full fibre broadband  to Essex villagesCounty Broadand starts roll-out of full fibre broadband to Essex villages

County Broadband commenced work last week to install 'full fibre' broadband to north Essex villages Eight Ash Green and Dale Close, both near Colchester. They are the first of 30 rural communities in the area who have committed to having the service put in between now and the new year, according to the company.

Villages on the Essex-Suffolk border, including Wakes Colne, Chappel, Fordham and Mount Bures, are also set to get full fibre in the coming weeks.

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County Broadband, which has offices in Aldham near Colchester, announced last year that it had secured a £46m investment from Norfolk-based asset management company Aviva Investors to roll-out ultrafast full fibre broadband networks across villages in the East of England, with the aim of providing a boost to under-served rural communities and businesses.

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Full fibre broadband refers to an internet service where fibre optic cables are connected directly into properties. County Broadband says this can deliver network speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps), up to 20 times faster than standard superfast broadband, which relies in part on old copper wire infrastructure.

The first villages to receive the services are Eight Ash Green and Dale Close both near ColchesterThe first villages to receive the services are Eight Ash Green and Dale Close both near Colchester

Councillor for Dale Close, Lesley Scott-Boutell, attended the launch of the works programme.

She said: "People increasingly rely on ever faster broadband but unfortunately some areas are often left behind when it comes to their digital connectivity.

"This new full fibre network will provide a real boost to residents and businesses and will play an important role in the long-term prosperity of these local communities."

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The company says it is targeting 140 villages across Essex and Norfolk with its service, as demand for online streaming services and data heavy downloads grows. Ipswich-based contractor, Telec Networks, is working with County Broadband on this first phase.

Chief executive of County Broadband, Lloyd Felton, added: "We are very excited to welcome these villages to be at the leading edge of bringing full fibre broadband into their homes and help to make rural Essex a flag bearer for world-class connectivity."

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