Colchester to get broadband speeds more than 10 times faster than anywhere else in the UK
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It is one of Britain's most historic towns - but now Colchester is to lead the way into the future by offering some of the fastest broadband speeds ever seen in the UK.
The Essex town is going to be one of the few places in the country to get “ultrafast” new broadband networks which will be more than 10 times faster than even superfast broadband, thanks to a £3.45million government investment programme.
It will make it part of just 3% of businesses and households across the nation to have access to the very quickest broadband speeds of 1,000 megabits per second (MBPS) or higher.
That is much faster than standard broadband, which has download speeds of about 10MBPS, or even superfast broadband, which offers speeds of around 67MBPS.
It is believed the top speeds will help to bolster investment in the town, by making it a more attractive place for firms to set up business given the benefits of its internet connection.
Colchester’s economy could grow by as much as 6%, it has been said - bringing more than £230million to the area.
Councillor Nick Barlow, Colchester Borough Council portfolio holder for commercial Services, said: “It is fantastic news that Colchester has been awarded this huge sum to support our plans to deliver ultrafast broadband across the borough, particularly as the digital, creative and online sectors are some of the most important drivers of innovation and growth for Colchester’s economy.
“Future-proofing and investment in our infrastructure is key.”
Colchester was the first local authority to secure the funding from the government’s Local Full Fibre Network Fund, which was announced in early 2018.
The funding bid was managed by Colchester Amphora Trading, which will also oversee the project deployment on behalf of Colchester Borough Council. T
his is one of the highest-profile projects to have been undertaken by the council’s new commercial company, since it was established in 2018.
Pre-works are already underway, with network build due to start in April 2019.
Margot James MP, minister for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “We’re building a Britain that’s fit for the future, and our plans for a national full fibre broadband network underpin our modern Industrial Strategy.
“This £3.45m boost for gigabit speeds in Colchester will build on the tremendous work already being done by Colchester Borough Council and I congratulate them on what they have already achieved.”
The new networks will cover the whole of central Colchester, the Northern Gateway and provide links to Greenstead, Severalls Business Park and the Hythe.
The networks will be expandable and capable of reaching more rural areas in future, as funding allows.