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Ultrafast broadband to reach rurual villages in Essex and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 February 2019

Lloyd Felton (left), CEO of specialist rural broadband provider County Broadband, at the operational control centre at the Essex headquarters. Picture: COUNTY BROADBAND

Lloyd Felton (left), CEO of specialist rural broadband provider County Broadband, at the operational control centre at the Essex headquarters. Picture: COUNTY BROADBAND

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A potential 16,000 homes in villages in Essex and Suffolk are set to receive ultrafast broadband thanks to a £46million investment from Aviva Investors.

The investment follows years of so-called ‘broadband black spots’ - areas with low internet speeds, many of which are in our region, notably of which in rural areas. A reason behind this is the usage of old copper wire infrastructures dating from Victorian times.

The works, which will be undertaken by Aldham-based County Broadband claim to bring speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second thanks to high-tech ‘Fibre-To-The-Premises’ (FTTP) technology. At such speeds, this would mean the area would receive internet 20 times higher than the national average.

Research shows that two thirds of customers paying for ‘fibre services’ don’t receive a full fibre connection due to signals arriving to their home through copper telephone lines, which sees a significant reduction in speed, reliability and upgrade opportunities.

Lloyd Felton, CEO at County Broadband, highlighted that the investment will help boost economic growth in the region, as well as improving the quality of life for residents.

Mr Felton said: “Our goal is to provide a world-class, future proof infrastructure which will deliver ultrafast broadband speeds of 1,000Mbps now and even faster speeds in future, as well as providing additional services such as telephony, home security and access to the vital services that the local authorities and health services plan for online access in the coming years.

“Household usage and data consumption is already predicted to increase 10-fold every six years and only ultrafast solutions will match this requirement.”

County Broadband said it chose the villages due to their “great understanding” of the Essex area, and are approaching villages based on a number of criteria, including speed, reliability and proximity.

Wethersfield parish councillor Sharon Booth, a resident of Blackmore End, a village receiving the technology, said: “When I first moved to the village in 2014 the connection speed via BT phone lines was very poor.

“I’m sure that the villagers will welcome it when it arrives.”

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