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Comment: Reaction to the General Election result, December 2019

County Broadband reacts to the General Election result, December 2019.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “The re-elected Prime Minister has already made digital infrastructure a notable investment pledge in his victory speech following his campaign commitment to the rollout of gigabit broadband connectivity. We look forward to working with the digital minister in support of his promise to connect the entire UK, including rural and hard-to-reach areas, to future-ready networks.

“County Broadband has big plans to connect thousands of rural communities to our Hyperfast future-ready networks in 2020 across the East of England, making the region a flagbearer for world class digital connectivity.”

County Broadband raises over £1,000 and donates vital food parcels to Colchester Foodbank

County Broadband has raised over £1,000 and donated three large boxes to Colchester Foodbank to help vulnerable people across Essex this Christmas.

The local firm partnered with their own suppliers in support of the foodbank to raise funds through voluntary donations and internal food collections where staff contributed items including tinned fruit, toiletries and festive treats.

Employees also visited Colchester Foodbank and spent the afternoon packing emergency food parcels to be sent to the most vulnerable for use over the Christmas period.

There are currently more than 14 million people living in poverty across the UK* and in Colchester it is estimated nearly a third of all children are in poverty**.

The support has been welcomed by Colchester Foodbank which is facing increased pressure and demand this year to help all those in need.

Anne Barney, volunteer at Colchester Foodbank, said: “Whilst Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and celebration, for many people across Colchester and Essex it is real struggle. We are very grateful to the team at County Broadband for their support at this busy time of year.

“Vital funds to maintain the foodbank and donations of food provide are a real lifeline to those most in need and is only possible through the generous support of the wider community.”

Colchester Foodbank has helped over 7,000 people in crisis so far this year by providing three-day, nutritionally balanced emergency food parcels to those who have been referred.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “Communities are always at the heart of what we do which is why it’s so important for us to help them in any way we can. The support that the dedicated team at Colchester Foodbank offers is essential and we are proud to be supporting them to help those in crisis during the festive season and beyond.

“I would like to say a big thank you to our suppliers who donated to our Christmas campaign. This is a great example of what a big difference we can make by working together.”

*Full Fact, September 2019
**End Child Poverty, 2019

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

Comment: Reaction to Labour Party’s free broadband pledge

Statement: Reaction to Labour Party’s free broadband pledge

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is rolling out full fibre networks across rural East Anglia, said: “The announcement highlights the importance of full fibre access for all. However, it also shows an alarming lack of understanding about the complex nature of full fibre rollouts and the fact that, unlike by comparison the rail industry that operates rail franchises, the industry has already invested billions of pounds in building its own infrastructure over which the service is delivered, in direct competition to BT.

“This proposal would almost certainly lead to delays or at worst derailment of existing full fibre investment and new network roll-outs. It is broadbrush, and makes no mention of how customers would be served and supported, and provides no recognition for what has been achieved by the many Alternative Network providers (AltNets) who are currently active in providing a competitive full fibre solution.

“The competitive nature of the current market in the UK has meant consumers already benefit from one of the lowest cost broadband services in Europe. Broadband is an essential utility and whilst we share the ambition to bring future-ready full fibre connectivity to every home and business, we believe a mix of public and private investment is the only realistic strategy to deliver the service efficiently, without the need to bring significant cost to the public purse.”

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

Hyperfast five-fold business growth for County Broadband

We are pleased to announce that we’re set to achieve a five-fold increase in our workforce this year and have ambitious plans to become a “major player” in the UK’s growing technology sector.

Despite political and economic uncertainty over Brexit, County Broadband has continued to invest and has seen its workforce soar from 16 to 60 since the start of 2019 with bosses confident of becoming a 79-strong team by the end of December.

New roles in technology, finance and community engagement have been created as part of the business expansion.

It follows a £46million private investment from Aviva Investors in 2018 to support the firm’s rollout of hyperfast full fibre broadband to rural areas in East Anglia.

Over 50 villages have already given the go-ahead to have new future-ready Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks installed to benefit from world-class speeds of up to 1,000Mbps in the region – 20 times faster than the UK average.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Lewis Simington, Human Resources Manager, who joined County Broadband earlier this year, described the firm’s growth as “exponential”, saying: “It’s fantastic to be part of a rapidly-expanding team and compared to even six months ago, we’re unrecognisable.

“With the current economic uncertainty, it’s reassuring and a huge boost to the local economy to be part of firm on an exciting growth journey, delivering an important new service to local communities.

“We have just launched a seven-year business plan and 2020 will be the year when we really start coming into our own.

“I think the ambition is to become a major player, both in the region and in the national technology sector – flying the flag for Essex and the East of England. We are realistic about where we are now but we do have big plans for the future.”

Some 25 vacancies were advertised by the firm at the start of October. Young apprentices and engineering technicians from Colchester and the wider region have been among the new recruits and placed on training schemes.

“Local talent is key for us,” Lewis added. “This is essential when you’re looking to move into areas such as Norfolk and Cambridgeshire as you need people who appreciate what we’re trying to do within local communities and have that connection with them.”

David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “Having access to an efficient and fast broadband network is an absolute essential for success today and we congratulate County Broadband for the work they are doing to ensure that businesses across the East of England, and especially in Essex, will be able get just that.

“The key to their success is their willingness to work with local communities to identify needs and deliver them.”

County Broadband aims to provide connection access to around 40,000 premises by the end of 2020.

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

Full fibre broadband plans stepped up in Diss and Thetford villages

More public meetings have been announced in Diss and Thetford villages earmarked for full fibre broadband which would give thousands of homes and businesses some of the fastest speeds in the UK.

Rural internet specialists County Broadband has already held meetings with residents and community leaders in 21 villages to discuss the unique rollout plans and help secure the 30% sign-up rate needed to trigger the construction of new gigabit-capable broadband networks.

The new infrastructure would provide hyperfast speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps – 20 times faster than the UK average and 10 times faster than copper-based superfast broadband, giving the local economy a huge boost and allowing residents to download HD films in minutes and enjoy uninterrupted speeds across multiple devices simultaneously.

County Broadband’s community team have also been busy in the villages, supporting local charity fundraising events such as pub quizzes and engaging with residents and businesses.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, based in East Anglia, said: “We’d like to thank the villages for welcoming us into their communities as we step up our engagement by inviting local residents and businesses to attend our next wave of public meetings and events over the coming weeks.

“Our community ambassadors will provide important updates on the rollout plans and answer more questions people might have about connecting to our future-ready lightning-fast network which is rapidly expanding in other parts of the region.”

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

More than 35 villages have given the green light to join County Broadband’s network, backed by a £46 million private investment, in rural Essex in recent months.

Community halls and schools have already been promised free connections to the network in areas which give the green light in Norfolk.

Mr Felton added: “Thousands of residents and businesses will soon benefit from gigabit-capable speeds in rural Essex and we strongly urge their regional neighbours in south Norfolk to follow suit and reap the same benefits of being connected to some of the fastest and most reliable download and upload speeds in the UK.

“This is a golden chance for rural Norfolk to become flagbearers for world-class digital connectivity in the region and unlock all the potential of hyperfast full fibre broadband, but it can only happen with the support of local communities which drive forward this ambition.”

The government has pledged that the entire UK should have access to gigabit capable broadband by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson making full fibre broadband a flagship policy.

Residents and businesses in the Diss and Thetford villages are asked to look out for information being provided locally to find out more details about the upcoming public events.

The rollout is funded by a private investment from Aviva Investors and is not dependent upon public money.

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

County Broadband, which also provides superfast wireless internet, was established in Aldham, Essex, in 2003, and currently has over 3,000 customers across East Anglia. The company aims to reach 50,000 premises in the East of England by the end of 2020.

35 villages are on their way to getting future-ready fibre

This is all a part of our mission to bring Hyperfast, future-ready fibre broadband to rural villages across East Anglia.

Main build works are the main construction of our fibre network and involve installing fibre cables in your street or through overhead poles to be able to bring a future-ready connection directly to your door. We are forecasting that these works will take around 10 weeks to complete, and once these works are complete we can then start the connection process.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

These are when we anticipate main build works to start in these villages.

Main builds starting this month (October):

• Aldham;
• Belchamp Walter;
• Bures Hamlet;
• Great Yeldham;
• Pebmarsh;
• Stambourne;
• Steeple Bumstead;
• Toppesfield;
• High Easter;
• Ford End;
• Willows Green.

Main builds starting in November:

• Belchamp St. Paul;
• Bulmer;
• Castle Hedingham;
• Chappel;
• Wakes Colne;
• Wickham St. Paul.

Main builds starting in December:

• Alphamstone;
• Belchamp Otten;
• Lamarsh;
• Little Yeldham;
• Mount Bures;
• Tilbury Juxta Clare.

Main builds starting in January:

• Fordham;
• Gestingthorpe;
• Great Maplestead.

We are currently carrying out main build works in Foxearth and Pentlow, Eight Ash Green and Dale Close.
As well as all of this, we are planning to start pre-build works at the end of this month (October) in:

• Beaumont;
• Bradfield;
• Great Bromley;
• Little Bentley;
• Tendring;
• Wix.

These pre-build works will involve clearing some of the existing duct infrastructure in preparation to lay our fibre cables and carrying out other minor civil engineering activities.

So, between now and January we will be building (pre-build and main build) in 35 villages, making them one step closer to getting Hyperfast fibre broadband.

Our free connection offer (worth £225) is still open in all these villages UNTIL main build works are complete. After that, when you NEED to access Hyperfast broadband in the future, you will need to PAY to get connected!

If you live in one of these villages and would like to access Hyperfast, future-ready fibre in your home, pre-order a connection by visiting www.countybroadbandfibre.co.uk/futureready and entering your postcode or call the County Broadband Hyperfast services team on 01376 562002.

Get the most out of your WiFi router

For 20 years WiFi has been used by people around the world. Invented for consumers in 1997 and released for home use in 1999, WiFi revolutionised the way people used and accessed the internet.

Over 4.33 billion people where active internet users as of July 2019, encompassing 56 percent of the global population (statista.com).

With us relying so much on a WiFi connection, it can be frustrating if your WiFi signal is not as strong as you would like. But there are things you can do to help boost your WiFi signal.

WiFi signals work through radio waves in the air. It is a router’s job to broadcast these frequencies to provide you internet.

WiFi works on the same principal as other wireless devices. WiFi use radio frequencies to send a signal between the different devices in your household from the router. The radio frequencies are completely different from TV, car radios, cell phones. For example, your car stereo receives frequencies in Kilohertz and Megahertz range (AM and FM stations), and Wi-Fi transmits and receives data in the Gigahertz range.

County Broadband’s high-performance fibre gateway routers are duel band routers, this means that they produce two different frequencies.

One of the frequencies that the router produces is 2.4GHz. This frequency travels further throughout the home, meaning that the WiFi signal will reach to more parts of your property but the WiFi speed can be potentially slower. This frequency is better suited for older equipment and devices further away for the router.

The other frequency the router produces is 5GHz. Although this frequency doesn’t travel as far in your home 5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance. Therefore, making this better for newer products like Apple branded goods.

As a rule of thumb, if your product requires more bandwidth you should make sure it is as close to your router as it can be for a stronger signal.

For devices like a SmartTV, we recommend that you wire them directly into your router using a CAT5 (Ethernet) cable to get the required speeds for it to work effectively.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

To ensure your router reaches as much of your property as possible, it is important to consider the location of your router.

James Pallent, Technical support for County Broadband says: “Make sure your router is in a central location in your property so your WiFi signal can travel to all areas in your property. It is also important to make sure that you keep your router in an open area because believe it or not, things like range cookers, thick walls and even fish tanks and interfere with your WiFi signal.”

“It will also help if you place your router away from any other WiFi enabled devices, for example cordless phones, other routers and WiFi enabled printers, as these can also interfere with your WiFi signal causing interference that will effect your wireless speeds. If you are experience any issues that you will like us to clarify, please feel free to give us a call on 01376 562002.”

If you follow all of this advice, you will be able to get the most out of your router and enjoy the Hyperfast speeds our fibre network has to offer.

Don’t have a connection with us?

Enjoy speeds up to 12 times faster than the UK average (up to 600Mbps) and an unrivalled performance for streaming, gaming, uploading and downloading.

Pre-order a connection now by visiting www.countybroadbandfibre.co.uk/futureready/ and entering your postcode.

Schools and village halls offered free access to full fibre broadband

Rural schools and community halls in Essex and Norfolk will be offered free next-generation full fibre broadband in villages which approve unique rollout plans, local internet service provider County Broadband has announced.

More than 30 villages in the Colchester, Chelmsford and Braintree areas of Essex have already given the go-ahead to have new hyperfast gigabit-capable networks installed to receive some of the UK’s quickest internet speeds – up to 1,000 Mbps which is 20 times faster than the national average and 10 times faster than copper-based superfast.

Thousands of homes and businesses in over 20 villages in the Thetford and Diss areas in Norfolk have also already been urged to seize the chance to connect to the network, partly funded by a £46 million private investment.

County Broadband has today announced that schools and community halls will be offered a free connection and service if the village signs up. At least 30% of residents and businesses are required to pre-order to give the green light to construct the network.

With full fibre speeds, schools could take advantage of the latest technology for use in the classroom whilst village halls could provide video-conferencing and transform public events, community groups and the services they offer such as computer support workshops. It would also provide a boost for centres which run films nights or showcase live sporting events as it would mean content could be streamed reliability and at the highest HD or 4K quality.

Braintree District councillor Peter Schwier welcomed the news: “People consider schools and village halls as the heart of rural communities. Having lightning fast broadband speeds will provide a real boost to the local residents and open up new opportunities.”

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Full fibre broadband provides lightning-fast speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) through FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks in which fibre optic cables are connected directly into properties and offices – even in difficult-to-reach areas. HD films can be downloaded in minutes and albums in seconds.

Such speeds are even 10 times faster than superfast broadband which in contrast relies on FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses copper elements dating back to the Victorian period to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to properties. Speeds halve approximately every 600 metres and connections can be unreliable in peak times.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband based in Aldham said: “We know schools and village halls are the lifeblood for rural areas which the local community relies on. That’s why we’re today announcing our exciting offer of equipping them with lightning-fast broadband which would put them in the top 8% for digital connectivity in the UK and get them future-ready to take full advantage of new data-hungry technologies.”

The government pledged last year that the entire UK should have access to full fibre by 2033 to catch up with the rest of the world. New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made full fibre broadband a flagship policy in his premiership – and wants everyone connected by 2025.

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

County Broadband, which also provides superfast wireless internet, was established in Aldham, Essex, in 2003, and currently has over 3,000 customers across East Anglia. The company aims to reach 50,000 premises in the East of England by the end of 2020.

Gamers deserve future-ready fibre

With more than 2.5 billion gamers all over the world, video games are a fast-growing market predicted to be worth 90 billion US dollars by 2020 (wepc.com). But this trend is something that relies on a reliable broadband connection, without that- it can cause numerous problems.

Back in June, E3- the world’s premier event for computer games and related products, announced some up and coming releases, including Blair Witch, Fifa 20, Gears 5, Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077 featuring Keanu Reeves- quite possibly the biggest surprise of the entire event.

But nothing annoys a gamer more than a game lagging, disconnections or buffering -they want uninterrupted gameplay.

So, if you’re a gamer who is relying on broadband connectivity [or a parent of a child that does!], it is important that you research and find the right broadband package to suit these demands.

The type of broadband connection you go for obviously plays a huge part in the quality of gaming experience you [or your children] can enjoy. There are different types of packages you can go for, but the main two are either a standard or fibre broadband.

A standard connection uses an existing Openreach phone network to transmit data to your property and as a result can only provide you with an average download speed of 10-11 Mbps, or less if you live further away from the telephone exchange (which.co.uk).

Confusingly, there are also two types of fibre connection. Most homes rely on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband connections. About 8% of homes can get fibre to the property (FTTP).

FTTC offers you a part fibre broadband service, with a fibre cable going from the exchange to the cabinet, then using decade-old copper telephone wires to deliver the internet connection to your property.

Copper telephone wires can slow your internet down by 50% in the first 100 meters, meaning the further away you live from your cabinet, your speeds will be slower and your connection will be less reliable.

FTTP has a fibre cable going to your property which provides you with a fibre connection directly to your door, eliminating all of the issues you would have with FTTC and a standard internet connection.

Stewart Larner, head of Network Strategy & Operations, says:

“Playing online video games is something that requires a lot of data and often means when you do this, anyone else trying to use your internet will suffer with really slow speeds. With our Hyperfast fibre broadband connection you can use multiple devices at the same time with no issues, something you will not get with an FTTC broadband connection”

Offering you a gigabit-capable connection, you can wave goodbye to buffering and game-lag with internet speeds up to 12 times faster than the UK average and an unrivalled performance for streaming, gaming, uploading and downloading.

With unlimited data and speeds that aren’t impacted during peak times, you can game and stream without worry.

A FTTP connection provides you with a symmetrical service, which means you will be able to upload and download at similar speeds, allowing you to update and stream with no issues.

So, when it comes to the best broadband packages for gamers, in our opinion, a FTTP connection is definitely the only way to go.

Want to test your speed and find out if you can go Hyperfast? County Broadband provides a Hyperfast fibre connection to rural communities across Essex at affordable prices, visit https://countybroadband.co.uk/ to find out more.

Local authorities encouraged to find out more about privately funded full fibre broadband

High speed, reliable broadband connectivity will soon be an essential utility – just like electricity and water. The government knows that we are all going to need faster and faster broadband speeds which is why they have stated that the whole country should have access to full fibre by 2033.

There are a number of public sector initiatives to help secure improved digital connectivity but they are primarily focussed upon upgrading existing, out-dated copper wire infrastructure which is not able to reach future-ready, hyperfast speeds and are dependent on public funding.

County Broadband – a broadband provider specialising in rural areas in the East of England – is one of a number of companies across the UK able to construct all-new, future-ready full fibre networks at no cost to the public purse. A key issue is, however, the need for greater public information and support from local authorities about the need for hyperfast speeds.

Rural areas are lagging behind in terms of broadband speed and reliability. With infrequent public transport, closure of post offices and banks in rural areas together with a desire to minimise unnecessary journeys, residents are arguably more dependent upon online services than their urban counterparts. Businesses will also be unable to thrive in rural areas without fast, future-ready internet access.

A recent survey* undertaken by County Broadband of over 2,000 rural homes in England shows that the majority of residents are not only frustrated with their broadband but also completely unaware that it will not provide a future-proof solution. Whilst hyperfast uses fibre directly to a property, superfast relies on existing, outdated copper cables to deliver fibre from local cabinets – reducing speed and reliability.

The survey showed that almost two thirds (60%) of consumers living in rural areas don’t understand the difference between superfast and hyperfast broadband. In addition, over half (57%) of those questioned said they were frustrated with their internet citing poor performance and unreliable speeds with 16% struggling on a daily basis.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Braintree District Councillor Peter Schwier is a strong advocate for the roll-out of full fibre networks and explains the importance to rural communities. He says: “I am delighted that County Broadband is rolling out full fibre broadband to the vitally important rural areas of Braintree District.

“This new network is an ambitious schedule to full fibre-enable rural properties, dramatically improving speed, bandwidth and quality. It is not only needed today but future-proofs our rural communities and businesses and will enable everyone to enjoy the choice and benefits of unlimited, hyperfast broadband.”

Peter Schwier continues: “Full fibre broadband will drive productivity in community level economies – both in terms of attracting future generations and commercial prosperity. Shopping, healthcare, education, banking and public services are now accessed online as well as entertainment and all require reliable, fast connectivity. Similarly, businesses and homeworkers need faster and faster broadband speeds.”

County Broadband’s high-tech ‘Fibre-To-The-Premises’ (FTTP) gigabit-capable networks deliver ultrafast and hyperfast internet speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) directly into some of the most difficult-to-reach homes and businesses – at more than 20 times faster than the UK average.

Focussed upon East Anglia, the Company’s strategy is to service more than 30,000 homes and businesses in the region. The roll-out programme is funded by access to a £46million private investment and is not dependent upon public money or any financial contributions from home or business owners.

NFU East Anglia Environment Adviser Rob Wise said: “Access to reliable broadband continues to be a major problem in rural areas. Government figures show that 7% of premises in rural areas were not able to access decent broadband services and speeds, compared with just 1% in urban areas, and the situation is much worse in rural hamlets and for isolated dwellings where 35% are unable to access a decent connection.

“The NFU’s 2018 survey revealed that 42% of responding members still have a connection speed of less than 2Mbps. We must embrace every opportunity to increase the roll-out of fibre connections in the countryside, both via the public and private sectors, and especially where the two can work together.”

County Broadband is encouraging local authorities in the East of England to find out more about the opportunities for full fibre broadband in their region. As part of the roll-out programme, the Company is hosting a series of village meetings.

“We are encouraging everyone to find out more about the opportunities for full fibre broadband,” says Lloyd Felton, CEO at County Broadband. “Our events provide an opportunity to meet the County Broadband team and hear about the new network. Local government representatives are encouraged to participate to understand the opportunities available through privately funded full fibre broadband networks.”

Lloyd Felton continues: “Our goal is to provide a world-class, future proof infrastructure which will deliver ultrafast and hyperfast 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.”

Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.

County Broadband, which also provides superfast wireless internet, was established in Aldham, Essex, in 2003, and currently has over 3,000 customers across East Anglia. The company aims to reach 50,000 premises in the East of England by the end of 2020.