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Suffolk village to get UK's fastest broadband in new trial

PUBLISHED: 14:19 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:08 11 October 2019

Openreach Engineer laying fibre in a duct as part of £2.5bn super-fast broadband programme.. Photo: Openreach.

Openreach Engineer laying fibre in a duct as part of £2.5bn super-fast broadband programme.. Photo: Openreach.

Johnnie Pakington photography

A small Suffolk village will soon be installed with the UK's fasted broadband as part of initiative to boost communication in isolated rural communities.

Kentford, Suffolk, is being installed with some of the UK's fastest fibre broadband. Photo: OpenreachKentford, Suffolk, is being installed with some of the UK's fastest fibre broadband. Photo: Openreach

Kentford, which has less than 1,000 residents, is one of 13 locations to benefit from the Openreach scheme.

Engineers will be working in the West Suffolk village to test an array of new tools and techniques at they install the latest fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband.

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The move is expected to benefit numerous homes and businesses in the area and will be available to order by Christmas.

And once services go live the village have access to download speeds up to one gigabit per second - 18 times faster than the national average.

Kentford, Suffolk, is being installed with some of the UK's fastest fibre broadband. Photo: OpenreachKentford, Suffolk, is being installed with some of the UK's fastest fibre broadband. Photo: Openreach

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"This is a really important trail for Openreach and it's great that Suffolk is set to play a leading role", said Kim Mears, Openreach's managing director for infrastructure.

"We understand the importance of bringing great connectivity to rural communities, and as well as providing fantastic broadband for people living in Kentford, we hope this provides us with the platform to extend our reach to hundreds of thousands more rural premises in the coming years.

"We have already done a lot in Suffolk, through our partnership with Suffolk County Council and by joining forces with a number of communities who've asked to work directly with us. But we know there is more to do and we can't waited to get started."

The trial is part of Openreach's ambition to extend its FTTP network into areas considered more difficult or expensive for the private sector to upgrade commercially.

Specialist kit will enable engineers to install up to 700m of cabling each day and avoid traditional methods or drilling and excavation.

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach added: "At Openreach, we'll never be just a city fibre provider. We've always worked hard to improve connections to isolated, less commercially attractive communities through inventive engineering and effective funding partnership models.

"The trials will also give us a much clearer picture of what the technical challenges in these kinds of rural areas are. We hope they'll go a long way towards developing the tools, skills and innovations required to make sure that nobody's left behind in the full fibre future."

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