In response to a Public Accounts Committee report criticising the government’s gigabit broadband rollout which ‘risks’ leaving rural areas behind, Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is building full-fibre networks across East Anglia, said:
“Lockdown 3 is once again exposing critical problems with our outdated digital infrastructure with businesses struggling to work from home and children unable to access online learning.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.
“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. Whilst we were disappointed the flagship gigabit target was downgraded to 85% of UK homes by 2025, we must focus on achieving and exceeding this new goal.
“Bullet-proof connectivity will be the foundation of the Covid-19 economic recovery as the nation works to ‘build back better’. We’ve seen in the past how rural areas have been left behind, from Superfast speeds to the rollout of 4G and 5G. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.
“We’ve worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to build and connect homes and businesses to our new Hyperfast full-fibre networks, backed by millions of pounds of private investment from Aviva Investors.
“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 East Anglia – stay tuned as next-generation broadband is on its way to uplift your lives during the pandemic and beyond.”
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Notes to Editors
- County Broadband is a specialist rural broadband provider based in East Anglia.
- In 2018, County Broadband received £46 million funding from Aviva Investors to offer fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) Hyperfast broadband to select villages across the East of England.
- FTTP is the installation of fibre optic cables directly into premises and offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gigabit). This is significantly faster than the more commonly used fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology in which fibre cables are sent to local street-side cabinets and then distributed through existing old copper cabling to each premise.
- For more information, visit www.countybroadbandfibre.co.uk or follow @CountyBroadband on Twitter
Broadband speed definitions. Broadband.co.uk defines the following services:
- High Speed = broadband up to 24Mbps
- Superfast = Broadband up to 80Mbps
- Ultrafast = speeds of 100Mbps up to 500Mbps
- Hyperfast = speeds of 500Mbps or more