'Herculean' effort to give 100 more villages faster broadband
- Credit: County Broadband
A "Herculean" effort to improve internet connection speeds will see 100 more villages across East Anglia given access to full-fibre broadband - thanks to a £46million investment by Aviva.
County Broadband, based in Aldham near Colchester, is committed to accelerating the roll-out of new infrastructure to replace current copper-based networks on which ‘superfast’ connections are based.
With private backing from Aviva Investors, the firm recently announced proposals to build full-fibre broadband in Sudbury – its first urban area earmarked in the rollout.
Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “Lockdown three is once again exposing critical problems with our outdated digital infrastructure with businesses struggling to work from home and children unable to access online learning.
"Broadband has long been our essential fourth utility and reliable connectivity could be viewed as a human right in 2021.
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“The path to full-fibre has its challenges and to succeed it requires a Herculean effort with local providers and the government working closely together to consign copper-based networks to the history bin."
The flagship gigabit target was downgraded by the government to 85% of UK homes by 2025.
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However, County Broadband believes this could see rural areas left behind — just like they have been with 4G and 5G roll-outs.
Mr Felton added: "The pathway out of the Covid-19 crisis is thankfully becoming clearer with each passing day.
"We must therefore apply the same grit and determination to ensure no-one gets left behind.
"So our message to residents and businesses blighted by poor broadband in rural areas of Suffolk and north-east Essex – stay tuned as next-generation broadband is on its way to uplift your lives during the pandemic and beyond.”
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport expects half of all households in the country to have access to gigabit speeds by the end of this year.
It said the UK is upgrading connections at a faster build rate than comparable countries.
A spokesperson for the department added: "We will take further rapid steps this year alongside the investment being made as part of our record £5billion UK Gigabit Programme, which will focus on ensuring the hardest to reach 20% of the country is not left behind."