Following the UK government announcement (23/03) of further restrictions in response to Coronavirus, Lloyd Felton, chief executive of Essex based Internet Service Provider County Broadband, issued the following statement:
“The past few weeks have proved very disruptive for everyone with the COVID-19 health pandemic temporarily restructuring our way of life in rapid and profound ways. What has become very clear is that the internet has become the fourth utility, essential to employees remote working, children remote learning, providing entertainment and for staying in virtual touch with family and friends – especially for those in more remote rural communities.
“We are therefore today converting packages with data caps to unlimited data packages* and putting on hold inflation linked price increases that were previously planned to align our packages to the market as a whole. We hope this announcement will provide much needed help for our customers during this uncertain and challenging time. Our customer services team will also be providing additional support to those who need it.
“COVID-19 has served to shine a spotlight on the urgent need for the UK to upgrade its digital infrastructure and we are proud to be doing our bit with the rollout of full-fibre broadband to replace outdated, existing copper based networks.
“With approximately double the normal traffic through our network and streaming service providers Netflix and Disney+ both announcing they are reducing video quality due to the unprecedented increase in downloads congesting networks across the country, questions are understandably being asked about how prepared as a whole the UK’s digital infrastructure is for the surge in data demand.
“It should be clear to everyone by now that Boris Johnson’s infrastructure revolution, being accelerated by the likes of us, will be our sword and shield in such challenging times.
“Aligned to the very latest government and public health advice, we can confirm, as a recognised frontline service and following ongoing discussions with our contractors, that we will be continuing with the rollout of our Hyperfast full-fibre broadband to rural communities across East Anglia.
“We will continue to review and update residents and businesses as further Government announcements are made.”
*Applicable to all customers in receipt of a letter confirming their status as at high risk of COVID-19.
Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.