Broadband boost for Essex as provider targets hard to reach properties

Business / Tue 27th Jun 2023 at 08:13am

A RURAL broadband specialist has accelerated its rollout of full fibre broadband to remote homes and businesses across Essex as part of a multi-million-pound investment to ensure hard to reach communities are not left behind.

County Broadband’s dedicated Bespoke Connections Team is believed to be amongst the first of its kind in the industry which identifies innovative technological and cost efficient solutions to connect farms and other remote buildings.

The alternative network provider (altnet) has announced its Bespoke Connections Team has connected its 200th remote property as part of its commitment to ensure entire villages have access to full fibre broadband.

County Broadband is building and delivering its full fibre network to thousands of homes and businesses in rural villages across Essex and the wider East of England, backed by £146m private investment from Aviva Investors.

Gavin Ashkettle, Manager of County Broadband’s Bespoke Connections Team, said: “The rollout of full fibre broadband is accelerating across the region but we know, particularly here in Essex, many remote homes and businesses continue to be overlooked.

“We typically connect over 80% of a rural village to our full fibre network as part of our main build. The remaining properties often can’t be connected easily due to logistical or physical challenges such as being hundreds of metres away. That’s where our Bespoke Connection Team comes in.

“Whilst some larger national providers might ignore them for financial reasons, we believe it’s vital they have access to full fibre broadband just like everyone else. Our dedicated team works closely with each home or business to identify how we can connect them in a way which is cost-effective and minimises unnecessary disruption. We are pleased to reach our 200th milestone and we will continue to accelerate our plans across the region.”

For each project, the team considers government funding support, carries out property surveys and feasibility studies, and meets with the resident or business to see if they could self-fund digging a trench if they are a farm or extend a contract to help cover the costs of installing overhead cabling.

County Broadband’s full fibre networks uses fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure where fibre optic cables are installed directly into premises, which has the capability to have almost limitless download and upload speeds in future. County Broadband is currently offering broadband packages over its full fibre networks with a choice of speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.

Ofcom recently* announced new guidance to help consumers identify the difference between full fibre services and the slower part-fibre, part-copper Superfast networks. The guidance addresses misleading advertising by national providers promoting copper-based fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services as ‘fibre broadband’ when in it is actually much slower ‘superfast’ broadband that still uses outdated Victorian copper wires to connect to the home.

Residents and businesses can check if they are covered in County Broadband’s rollout by entering their postcode at www.countybroadband.co.uk where they can also register their interest in finding out more about the service.

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1 Comment for Broadband boost for Essex as provider targets hard to reach properties:

Luke Burton
2023-06-27 16:14:15

Our broadband network is a disgrace. There is no reason why we can't all be getting gigabit capable connections in 2023.

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