Huge broadband boost for rural Suffolk as thousands added to next-generation full-fibre rollout

Thousands of rural homes and businesses in Suffolk have been earmarked to have full-fibre broadband infrastructure built in their village to secure some of the fastest and most reliable internet connections in the UK.

Thousands of rural homes and businesses in Suffolk have been earmarked to have full-fibre broadband infrastructure built in their village to secure some of the fastest and most reliable internet connections in the UK, it can be revealed.

Twelve villages on the Suffolk/Norfolk border have been added to County Broadband’s growing rollout of Hyperfast full-fibre broadband across the region, backed by a £46 million private investment from Aviva Investors.

The new FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks provide speeds of up to 1,000Mbps – about 18 times faster than the UK average – which are upgradable to over 10,000Mbps. The infrastructure also provides far greater reliability and “future-ready” connections for homes and businesses.

The 12 villages added to the rollout, which cover around 5,000 premises, are: Hinderclay, Hoxne, Palgrave, Redgrave, Stradbroke, Brome & Oakley, Fressingfield, Rickinghall, Botesdale, Syleham and Thelnetham in Suffolk, and Brockdish in Norfolk.

Construction will start in each village if enough residents and businesses sign up to the scheme. The new networks are set to go live by spring 2022 in each community which approves the plans.

Residents can find out if they are in the rollout area by visiting www.countybroadband.co.uk.

Copyright: Gregg Brown. Credit: County Broadband

James Salmon, Head of Territory at County Broadband, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how crucial having fast and reliable internet has become, and whilst people were happy with 40 to 50Mbps provided with Superfast fibre services yesterday, that is no longer sufficient today, let alone next year.

“The harsh reality, especially in rural areas, is that broadband supplied over copper cables is slow and unreliable, and is limiting what people can do, from working from home to simply staying in touch with a loved one over Zoom.

“That’s why we’re excited to announce that thousands of rural residents and local businesses on the Suffolk/Norfolk border can join our future-ready Hyperfast full-fibre to the property rollout. We look forward to engaging with each community, whether that’s via webinars or in person as lockdown eases, to provide further details about our plans and how they can register their interest online.”

Full-fibre networks deliver fibre cables directly into the home or business – replacing existing Superfast connections which are often promoted as fibre but rely on slow copper cables which date back to the Victorians and cannot be upgraded.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Councillor for the Hoxne & Eye division which includes the majority of the parishes covered by County Broadband’s rollout, said: “I am pleased to support the proposals. I know how important high quality and reliable broadband is to these communities and I have no doubt that these proposals will enhance the quality of all our lives and significantly improve the local economy.”

Penny Morgan, Development Manager and Area Lead, FSB East Anglia, said: “Poor digital infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, has been a long-standing issue for local companies. Therefore, this is great news for small businesses in East Anglia. The FSB have lobbied hard for better digital connectivity and infrastructure to help local firms facilitate and grow their businesses in the area. This will be welcome news to many businesses and individuals in East Anglia.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson is relying on local providers like County Broadband to achieve his target of 85% UK-wide gigabit-speed connectivity by 2025. It forms part of his “infrastructure revolution” to catch up with the rest of the world and support the Covid-19 economic recovery.

The deployment of full-fibre broadband could be worth £5.38bn to the East of England economy over the next five years, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

For more information please contact:

Tim Miller: 07927 515 604 / tim.miller@genesispr.co.uk

Matt Stott: 07825 908 360 / matthew.stott@genesispr.co.uk

Cheriton Alexander: 01376 562002 | Ext 404 / cheriton.alexander@countybroadband.co.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. County Broadband is a specialist rural broadband provider based in East Anglia.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Referenced here: https://www.broadband.co.uk/guides/ultrafast-and-hyperfast-broadband/