Colchester: Villages set for faster broadband

Faster broadband is on the way

Faster broadband is on the way - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

Seven villages around Colchester are to get superfast broadband to rival Britain’s biggest cities thanks to an innovative scheme.

Peldon, Abberton, Langenhoe, Great and Little Wigborough, Salcott Cum Virley and Layer Breton currently have a chronically slow connection which makes online shopping, business and homework almost impossible at busy times.

Now, thanks to a £64,000 grant, they will be linked up in a wireless network which will provide combined speeds of up to 64 Mbps.

The grant has come from a £750,000 community fund secured by Colchester Borough Council in agreement with Essex and Suffolk Water. The fund is available to compensate communities for the impact of construction works during the expansion of the Abberton Reservoir.

Winstred Hundred Parish Council, which covers the villages, has been championing the project for more than a year.

Parish Councillor John Walker said the superfast connection was desperately needed: “We think at least 90% of households will benefit from the new wireless network which is similar to one the Government is delivering in 10 major cities.”

Essex & Suffolk Water is investing £150 million to complete the Abberton Scheme, to ensure a secure supply of water to one and a half million people in Essex over the next 25 years. The scheme includes the expansion of Abberton Reservoir and the construction of a new pumping station.

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Installation of the wireless network, due by September, is being organised by a County Broadband which has partnered with Colchester Council. The main wireless feed into the villages will be routed via a small antenna at the top of Peldon church tower, which will link to a small number of Community Access Points (CAPs) on individual properties.

People are being sought to sign up and host a CAP on their property. More information will be available at the Peldon Village Festival being held at St Mary’s Church on Saturday 15 or by contacting Sue Pullen, the clerk of Winstred Hundred Parish Council on 01206 735367.