Notice: Undefined variable: catimg in /home/cbbwebspac/domains/countybroadband.co.uk/public_html/wp-content/themes/cb/archive.php on line 22

Searching, please wait...

Sorry, we could not find any events in your area - but if you would like to register interest please click here

Sorry, the connection timed out. Please try again.

Sorry, that postcode is invalid. Please try again.

Rural Essex goes Hyperfast! Villages now among UK’s fastest as full-fibre network goes live

Our Hyperfast full-fibre broadband network has gone live in rural north Essex, offering some of the UK’s fastest speeds to thousands of residents and businesses that have suffered years of poor digital connectivity, Essex-based provider County Broadband has announced.

In a major boost to community spirit and the local economy, Eight Ash Green, Aldham and Dale Close in Stanway near Colchester are now connected to the gigabit-capable network and have leapt overnight into the UK’s top 10% for digital connectivity with speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. This is a significant improvement on the 10Mbps to 50Mbps available to most households in the UK.

Taken before social distancing rules

Villages gave the go-ahead to the rollout plans backed by millions of pounds of private funding last year. Government advice is that it views broadband as an essential utility and vital to the post COVID-19 economic recovery of the country. Accordingly, it has approved the continuation of new network construction during the COVID-19 crisis, giving the company’s telecoms engineers keyworker status.

This meant County Broadband was able to complete construction of its full-fibre network during the lockdown with its workforce following public health guidelines in place.

Lesley Scott-Boutell Local Councillor for Stanway, said: “I’m delighted that County Broadband addressed residents’ concerns about the outdated broadband in Dale Close and now have got Hyperfast broadband, especially in these unprecedented times when families have been in lockdown, this has been a lifeline for them.”

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Residents can now download their favourite HD films in minutes, enjoy uninterrupted access to streaming and gaming services across multiple devices and work reliably from home without the slowdowns many other households face as people spend more time online during the lockdown.

It also means businesses can take advantage of video conferencing and cloud-sharing services which have become vital in the new working world and will help turbocharge growth and productivity in the post-coronavirus and post-Brexit economy.

Eight Ash Green resident Ben Wilkins, who has seen his broadband speeds rise from 9Mbps to around 400Mbps, said: “We had terribly slow speeds and drop-outs previously. My wife and I could not be on the internet at the same time. We were struggling with streaming and online gaming.

“But now I can play and communicate with my son via online gaming with this fast and reliable service without any issues at all. The speeds are amazing! The connection hasn’t dropped out once. It’s stress-free and we are able to work from home where necessary now.

“We received great customer service from County Broadband. We were always kept up-to-date on how the build was progressing. We are exceptionally happy with the service.”

The government has pledged that the entire UK should have access to gigabit capable speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution” involves relying on local providers such as County Broadband to accelerate the rollouts.

The Hyperfast network provides speeds of up to 1,000mbps – 18 times faster than the UK average and even 10 times faster than existing copper-based superfast broadband that dates back to the Victorian period.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We’re very excited to welcome Eight Ash Green, Aldham and Dale Close to our growing Hyperfast network and we hope residents and businesses reap the benefits of lightning-fast connectivity as we rely on the internet more than ever.

“The current lockdown has shone a spotlight on our outdated digital infrastructure. Our aim is to make rural Essex and the wider region digital flagbearers by meeting today’s demands of fast, uninterrupted connections whilst at the same time ensuring all rural and hard-to-reach premises are future-ready to cope with ever increasing data requirements.”

Hyperfast full-fibre broadband is delivered through fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks where fibre optic cables are connected directly into properties. In contrast, existing superfast fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure relies on homes still being connected via copper cable connections from green cabinets. FTTC speeds halve every 600m and can be unreliable during peak times.

County Broadband’s networks are funded by a £46million private investment from Aviva Investors. The provider is also currently rolling out its service in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and aims to cover 20,000 premises in the East of England 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.

Double wrapping the moon with new full-fibre broadband in rural Essex

Enough full-fibre broadband cable to double wrap the moon or complete almost 70,000 laps of Colchester United FC’s ground is being laid to connect thousands of rural premises in north Essex to UK-leading internet speeds, specialist Hyperfast provider County Broadband based near Colchester has announced.

Almost 14,000 miles of the infrastructure, seen as vital to help kickstart post-Brexit and post-coronavirus local economies, is planned to be built in rural areas near Colchester, Braintree and Chelmsford by the end of 2020.

The work to build the future-ready networks is continuing during the lockdown as the government views broadband as an essential utility, with County Broadband following public health guidance.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Thousands of residents and business owners in over 50 villages have approved plans to have the new networks, backed by a £46million Aviva investment, built in their community after the rollout launched last year

The 13,986 miles of Hyperfast full-fibre cable is also enough to complete over 500 marathons or fly from Stansted Airport to Sydney.

The networks provide speeds of up to 1000mbps, almost 20 times faster than the UK average, and form part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution” pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We remain committed to laying almost 14,000 miles – double the moon’s circumference – of Hyperfast full-fibre broadband cables to thousands of rural and remote residents and businesses in north Essex who have been blighted by years of poor rural digital connectivity.

“The current mass trial of working from home, increased reliance on the internet for streaming TV and films, and access to online educational services amid the coronavirus lockdown is shining a unique light on the urgent need to banish old Victorian copper networks that are simply unfit for modern life.

“The engines of our local economies will need restarting over the coming months and we believe full-fibre broadband will play a vital role in helping businesses and residents to respond and adapt to the ‘new normal’ – from enabling high-quality video conferences to seamless home entertainment.

“We are all facing difficult and challenging times but we would like to reassure rural communities in Essex that we are here to support them. The highest standards of safety and community sensitivity are of paramount importance as we continue ‘business as usual’.”

Currently, only 10% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 71% in Spain and 89% in Portugal. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to build gigabit-capable speeds to all UK premises by 2025.

County Broadband is laying 13,986 miles of Hyperfast full-fibre broadband across north Essex. This is enough full-fibre cable to…

  • Wrap the moon twice (double the circumference)
  • Run 68,207 laps of Colchester United’s football pitch
  • Fly from Stansted Airport to Sydney
  • Complete 533 marathons
  • Line up 1,875,690 double-decker buses

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

Coronavirus: County Broadband responds to UK government’s announcement of new restrictions

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.

For the latest information, please visit: https://countybroadband.co.uk/covid19-statement/.

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

Budget reaction: County Broadband comments on £5bn for rural broadband

Following the Chancellor’s announcement of a £5bn boost to support upgrading rural digital connectivity, Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, commented: “We welcome the news that the government’s plan to bring gigabit capable broadband to every home and business in Britain by 2025 has taken another step forward today.

“County Broadband is one of many Independent Network Providers already committed to building and delivering fibre-to-the-property (FTTP) networks across the East of England, backed by a combined private investment commitment that is already in excess of £1.5 billion.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

“The Chancellor’s announcement that the sector is to receive a £5bn boost to support upgrading rural digital connectivity, together with the industry news that more private investment in the sector is planned this year, means Independent Networks will have a central part to play in enabling tens of thousands of premises to receive future-ready, full-fibre connections.

“Upgrading the UK’s underlying outdated digital infrastructure is essential to unlock the country’s economic growth potential and will enable households, businesses and communities to move out of the digital slow lane and compete with the rest of the world post-Brexit.”

Specialist Hyperfast broadband provider County Broadband, based near Colchester in Essex, is building future-ready full-fibre networks in rural areas across East Anglia following a £46million investment from Aviva Investors. It is on schedule to offer 20,000 homes and business gigabit capable full fibre broadband connectivity by the end of this year.

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 on its way to 14 villages near Diss and Thetford – more urged not to miss out

County Broadband, a specialist rural full-fibre network and broadband provider, has announced 14 villages near Diss and Thetford have signed up to join its new Hyperfast full-fibre broadband network with a further 14 villages in south Norfolk on the cusp of securing the 1,000mbps connection.

Local councillors are now urging residents and business owners in the remaining 14 villages in the rollout’s first phase to rally together and support County Broadband with its proposals to build the new future-ready infrastructure to receive internet speeds 20 times faster than the UK average.

Thousands of residents and business owners in 52 villages across East Anglia have already given the green light to have the future-ready network built after last year’s rollout launch, backed by a £46million private investment by Aviva Investors. County Broadband has plans to start engaging with a further 60 villages across the region by the end of 2020.

The 14 villages that have signed up to County Broadband’s full-fibre network are: Aslacton, Bressingham, Forncett, Great Moulton, Needham, Starston, Wacton, Bunwell, Carleton Rode, Shelfanger, Tibenham, Pulham Market, Pulham St Mary and Winfarthing.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

There is a minimum threshold of pre-order sign ups from residents and businesses in each village before projects are approved and the network build can begin. Schools and community halls will also receive a free connection and service.

Following the announcement, one of the first to order in the village: John Johnson-Allen, who lives in Great Moulton and is Chairman of the Parish Council, commented: “My fellow councillors and I all enthusiastically supported full-fibre broadband coming to the village. It is a fantastic opportunity which will benefit the whole community. As other local villages are also taking the wonderful opportunity which we have been given, nearby communities will also benefit from lightning fast speeds after years of average speeds of 20mbps.

“We are delighted that Great Moulton has reached the threshold and we are now looking forward to receiving the full benefits of full-fibre broadband. On a personal level, as a historian and author, the increased speeds will be a huge help in my research.”

It follows the government’s flagship pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world and forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution”.

Currently, only 10% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 71% in Spain and 89% in Portugal. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to deliver the ambitious plans proposed for gigabit-capable speeds to all premises across the UK by 2025.

The network would be built and installed later this year and be available to all premises which pre-order a service. County Broadband is providing further information to residents and businesses in the villages including project updates, local village hall meetings and Q&A sessions.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed over 130 villages across East Anglia to our network and are pleased to announce further rural communities in Norfolk in our roll-out plans. We call on councillors and residents to consider the benefits of our Hyperfast full-fibre network and sign up now.”

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 rural areas. This means HD films and music can be downloaded in seconds and will support the growing number of devices in the home that rely on an internet connection.

FTTP speeds are up to 20 times faster than superfast broadband which is based on a FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses slow copper cables to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to the home. Speeds typically halve over the first 600 metres of copper cable and continue to lose speed over distance. This restricts the speed capabilities of a broadband service to the home and connections can be unreliable at peak times.

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

Revealed: 13 Essex villages could miss out on new lightning fast full-fibre broadband network

Thirteen villages in rural Essex on the cusp of securing UK-leading full-fibre broadband of up to 1,000mbps, 20 times faster than the UK average, have been revealed by specialist Hyperfast broadband provider County Broadband, based near Colchester.

Thousands of residents and business owners in 52 villages across East Anglia have already given the green light to have the future-ready network built after last year’s rollout launch, backed by a £46million private investment by Aviva Investors. County Broadband has plans to start engaging with a further 60 villages across the region by the end of 2020.

Local councillors are now urging residents and business owners in the remaining 13 villages in the rollout’s first phase to rally together and support County Broadband with its proposals. The villages are: Frating, Thorrington, Rosewood development (Myland), Langham, West Hanningfield (including part of South Hanningfield), Hempstead, Hazeleigh, Woodham Mortimer, Woodham Walter, Little Maplestead, Mundon, Purleigh and Helions Bumpstead.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband
There is a minimum threshold of pre-order sign ups from residents and businesses in each village before projects are approved and the network build can begin. Schools and community halls will also receive a free connection and service.

It follows the government’s flagship pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world and forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution”.

Currently, only 10% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 71% in Spain and 89% in Portugal. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to deliver the ambitious plans proposed for gigabit-capable speeds to all premises across the UK by 2025.

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 network would be installed later this year and be available to all premises. County Broadband is providing further information to residents and businesses in the villages including project updates, local village hall meetings and Q&A sessions.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed over 130 villages in Essex to our new network and call on the remaining rural communities to consider the benefits of our Hyperfast full-fibre network and seize the opportunity to get future-ready.”

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 rural areas. This means HD films and music can be downloaded in seconds and will support the growing number of devices in the home that rely on an internet connection.

FTTP speeds are up to 20 times faster than superfast broadband which is based on a FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses slow copper cables to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to the home. Speeds typically halve over the first 600 metres of copper cable and continue to lose speed over distance. This restricts the speed capabilities of a broadband service to the home and connections can be unreliable at peak times.

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

Boost for full-fibre broadband in rural South Cambridgeshire

Following a £46million investment from Aviva Investors, Hyperfast broadband provider County Broadband has announced it is commencing the rollout of new full-fibre networks in South Cambridgeshire, creating new opportunities for underserviced communities and businesses.

In the latest major boost to Cambridgeshire’s growing digital economy, County Broadband initially plans to build the new gigabit-capable networks in nine villages in the south of the county with more set to be unveiled later this year.

The announcement follows an initial launch in Essex and Norfolk last year which has seen over 10,000 residents and business owners sign up to receive future-ready digital connectivity with construction well underway in 50 villages.

The rural communities would have some of the fastest internet speeds in the UK at up to 20 times the national average. It follows the government’s flagship pledge for the entire UK to have access to gigabit speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world and forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “infrastructure revolution”.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “Whilst Cambridgeshire is already ahead of some parts of the country when it comes to full-fibre broadband, there is still a long way to go as many communities and businesses still rely on an outdated, copper-based infrastructure.

“Changing consumer habits and increased data reliance from the rise of online streaming, combined with an increasing number of services from health to education moving online means that future-ready internet connectivity is now an essential. The installation of Hyperfast full-fibre networks will provide a real boost to the regions’ economy and unlock new growth opportunities for businesses and attract new investment opportunities.”

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the deployment of full-fibre broadband would be worth £5.38bn to the East of England economy over the next five years.

Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Ian Bates, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee which oversees the Connecting Cambridgeshire digital connectivity programme, said: “Cambridgeshire is a leading digital county and we know how important it is to have fast, reliable Internet access wherever you are.

“It’s vital for our businesses to be able to compete, for our communities to thrive, and for people to access council services online. We welcome County Broadband’s commitment to investing in gigabit-capable services for rural villages in Cambridgeshire, which supports our ambition to extend full fibre coverage across the county to deliver better connectivity. Our Enabling Digital Delivery team is helping to ensure the rollout progresses as quickly as possible.”

Currently, 8% of UK homes and businesses can access full-fibre broadband, compared with 89% in Portugal and 99% in South Korea. The government is relying on privately funded infrastructure specialists like County Broadband to accelerate the UK’s roll-out.

The villages included in the initial rollout now have the choice of pre-ordering the new network or staying with their current providers. At least 30% of residents and businesses need to commit to pre-ordering to give the green light to start construction in each village. The networks would be installed in late 2020 and be available to all premises.

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 rural areas. This means HD films and music can be downloaded in seconds.

FTTP speeds are up to 20 times faster than superfast broadband which is based on a FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) infrastructure which, even though is promoted as fibre, uses slow copper cables to deliver the internet from green roadside cabinets to the home. Speeds typically halve every 600 metres and connections can be unreliable in peak times.

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

Safer Internet Day 2020: 5 quick ways to improve online security from Essex tech specialists

Internet users must not become complacent amid an increasing range of threats, according to rural Essex full-fibre specialists County Broadband, which has issued five steps to improve online security on Safer Internet Day (February 11).

Seven in 10 people think they will become a victim of cybercrime in the next two years while one third believe losing money or personal details online is now unavoidable, the UK Cyber Survey 2019 found. Over half a million fraud reports were made to Action Fraud between 2017 and 2019, from online shopping fraud to scammers posing as IT specialists to fix computers.

Cybersecurity also cost large firms an average of £22,700 per incident last year according to the government’s Cyber Security Breach Survey 2019.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is building new Hyperfast full-fibre broadband networks in over 50 villages in Essex, said: “Safer Internet Day provides the perfect opportunity for all digital users, young and old, novices and experts, to review and improve their online security in the face of ever-increasing sophisticated threats.

“From installing the latest tools to help prevent identity theft and privacy breaches, to spotting the hallmarks of dirty tactics waged by savvy hackers, we cannot afford to get complacent in the perpetual tug-of-war to remain safe in the modern world of rapidly-evolving technology.

“We hope residents and businesses in Essex find our five quick steps helpful to strengthen their cyber-security in the ongoing battle to remain safe, vigilant and resilient online.”

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

5 Quick Tech Fixes to Improve Online Security

 

Password protection

  • Allen keys are great for IKEA projects but your passwords shouldn’t be treated like one. Having different passwords for all your accounts is now a necessity. If you’re breached once, it can’t be repeated. You can download a password manager to take the strain and keep safe (and not forgotten) all your passwords. And, don’t forget – your passwords must regularly change and have capital letters, symbols, numbers and nothing memorable.

Two-factor authentication

  • This popular approach adds a vital layer of protection to secure your accounts. The concept involves a master password or sign-in, followed by a one-off temporary code sent directly to the account holder. For example, some banks will only let customers sign in after sending an extra text message authentication that expires within a few minutes. Some services you access through smartphone apps are also now asking for fingerprint identification or iris scanning as the second gateway.

Clear your cache

  • Reducing your online footprint should be a regular routine, as your multi-device, synced-up browsing history could reveal sensitive personal information such as your home address. You could download an app which does this for you automatically in the background – a fit and forget approach suited for busy modern life – such as Cookie AutoDelete for Google Chrome.

Shopping

  • You may have saved £67 on that indoor drone you’ve always wanted but cancel any orders right now from shopping websites, particularly obscure outlets, with URLs ending in .net. These are very rarely used by reputable retailers and are classic calling cards of illegitimate organisations. Plus – don’t save financial information. Make the effort each time to type out your details, no matter how tempting it might be to save your 16 digits.

Banking

  • Find out now if you’re with one of the most, or least, secure banks in the country. Consumer watchdog Which? regularly keeps track of the league table, carried out by independent security experts. Your habits are important too – you shouldn’t be online banking via open public Wi-Fi networks or hotspots. These are insecure and prone to unencrypted data being seized upon by fraudsters. Use a trusted private connection or 4G/5G – both will be encrypted.

 

Bonus tips

  • Secure your browser. Consider adblocker apps and desktop plug-ins like HTTPS Everywhere.
  • Back-up your data. Consider external hard disks or cloud-based software to keep your important files out of reach of hackers. Hard disks can be goldmines for personal, sensitive data. Apps like BitLocker and FileVault provide automatic encryption
  • Operating system. Ensure automatic updates are enabled for your device.

 

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

Top tech tips for improving your online security

From installing the latest tools to help prevent identity theft and privacy breaches, to spotting the hallmarks of dirty tactics waged by savvy hackers, we cannot afford to get complacent in the perpetual tug-of-war to remain safe in the modern world of rapidly evolving technology.

Especially when handy guides such as this tell you how easy it is to bolster your defences. So, here are six quick steps you can take right now to help get cyber-secure in 2020.

Password protection

Allen keys are great for IKEA projects but your passwords shouldn’t be treated like one. Having different passwords for all your accounts is now a necessity. If you’re breached once, it can’t be repeated. Too much admin? Download a password manager to take the strain and keep safe (and not forgotten) all your passwords. It will find and encrypt all your passwords. You can also use your new best friend to auto-fill your username and passwords, leaving you with just one password to remember. And don’t forget – your passwords must regularly change and have capital letters, symbols, numbers and nothing memorable.

VPN shield

Get yourself a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help provide a secure connection when you’re unsure of your public environment, like in a coffee shop. VPNs encrypt (scrambling a message or data to make it unintelligible to unauthorised users) and protect data exchanged over the network traffic and conceals your location. This doesn’t only provide a digital cloak of invisibility but can save you money too – if you’re a city-dweller and eyeing up holidays or insurance, you’re likely to be charged more. Most require paid subscriptions but transparent and reliable free VPNs are available, such as TunnelBear, Kaspersky and Avira, offering deals such as 500MB free a month.

Two-factor authentication

This increasingly popular approach adds a vital layer of protection to secure your accounts, going beyond the now simplistic approach of a one-layer username and password. The concept includes a master password or sign-in, followed by a one-off temporary code sent directly to the account holder. For example, some banks will only let customers sign in after sending an extra text message authentication that expires within a few minutes. Gmail, Evernote, and Dropbox have been early adopters. Some service you access through smartphone apps are also now asking for fingerprint identification or iris scanning as the second gateway. If this sounds unfamiliar, it’s time to check your apps.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

 Clear your cache

Deleting cookies shouldn’t just be a New Year’s resolution which lasts two weeks. Reducing your online footprint should be a regular routine, as your multi-device, synced-up browsing history could reveal sensitive personal information such as your home address. You could download an app which does this for you automatically in the background – a fit and forget approach suited for busy modern life – such as Cookie AutoDelete for Google Chrome.

Shopping

You may have saved £67 on that indoor drone you’ve always wanted but cancel any orders right now from shopping websites, particularly obscure outlets, with URLs ending in .net or .org. These are very rarely used by reputable retailers and are classic calling cards of illegitimate organisations. Plus – don’t save financial information. Make the effort each time to type out your details, no matter how tempting it might be to save your 16 digits for future.

Banking

Find out now if you’re with one of the most, or least, secure banks in the country. Consumer watchdog Which? regularly keeps track of the league table, carried out by independent security experts. Their 2019 list is here. Your habits are important too – you shouldn’t be online banking via open public wi-fi networks or hotspots. These are insecure and prone to unencrypted data being seized upon by fraudsters. Use a trusted private connection or 4G/5G – both will be encrypted.

Quickfire tips

 Secure your browser. Consider adblocker mobile apps and desktop plug-ins like HTTPS Everywhere.

  • Back-up your data. Consider external hard disks or cloud-based software to keep your important files out of reach of hackers. Hard disks can be goldmines for personal, sensitive data. Apps like BitLocker and FileVault provide automatic encryption
  • Operating system. Ensure automatic updates are enabled for your device.
  • Get our high-spec router. When you sign-up to our Hyperfast full-fibre broadband, being rolled out in rural areas of East Anglia, you’ll get our high-performance fibre Gateway Router, which offers WiFi Scheduling, firewall protection and provides you with a Hyperfast, future-ready broadband connection. Don’t forget – we also offer business packages offering additional support such as a faster call-out time and a higher traffic priority.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, which is building new Hyperfast full-fibre broadband networks in over 50 villages across rural East Anglia, added: “We hope residents and businesses find our five quick steps helpful to strengthen their cyber-security in the ongoing battle to remain safe, vigilant and resilient online.”

You can find out if they’re in a village covered in our Hyperfast full-fibre rollout by using our postcode checker here.

Four reasons why you need Hyperfast full-fibre broadband in 2020

2019 has been an exciting year for County Broadband. Following access to a £46 million private investment from Aviva Investors to rollout future-ready Hyperfast full-fibre to rural premises in East Anglia, set against the backdrop of supportive flagship government pledges despite such turbulent political times, we’re now starting to connect hundreds of customers.

We’ve grown our business exponentially – by 500% in fact – to connect our network to rural residents and businesses amid strong demand. We’re offering free connections to schools and village halls, whilst we’ve discussed Augmented Reality and smart home tech.

As we head into the 2020s, the need for speed and the demand for data are rising at exponential rates, driven by socio-economic changes in how we work, communicate, secure our homes, provide healthcare and education, travel, store things, buy home entertainment, and more.

So here are four reasons why you need Hyperfast full-fibre in 2020…

Speed and Reliability

With speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps), Hyperfast full fibre is 10 times faster than its ‘superfast’ rival, which starts at just 30Mbps.

If an Essex agriculture firm spends an hour downloading blueprints from Cloud storage, using Hyperfast broadband means it could take only five minutes. Imagine the productivity gains.

For a family-of-four all streaming 4K on-demand TV, like BT Sport or Netflix, speeds of 100-120Mbps will soon be required. Moreover, with smart home devices and gadgets rapidly evolving, similar speeds could help save at-risk residents.

Hyperfast full-fibre delivers on its promise. Superfast broadband providers have long faced justified criticism over the gulf between advertised speeds and what is actually delivered. In 2018, a Which? survey revealed consumers only receive around half the speeds for which they pay. 38Mbps customers received 19Mbps. Some on “up to 200Mbps” packages got 52Mbps. This leads to other problems, like sacrificing upload speeds to boost sluggish downloads. Hyperfast full-fibre networks are five times more reliable than superfast, Ofcom says, have low latency (the time it takes for data to be sent and received), and prevent infuriating internet slow-downs during peak periods.

World-Class Infrastructure

The crux of the matter. The nation’s superfast broadband rollout has been predicated on fragmented Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology: part-fibre, part-copper.

Copper was designed to conduct heat and electricity, not for delivering a broadband connection. As a result, these FTTC networks are not able to provide broadband services fit for purpose, leaving people with an unreliable and frustratingly slow internet connection that cannot cope with our technology demands, let alone future advances!

It’s not fit for purpose. Hyperfast full-fibre is based on Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) technology, in which fibre optic cables are laid directly to your home or business. But FTTP is only available to 10% of UK properties. It’s 89% in Portugal.

Click here to get Hyperfast Broadband

Home Entertainment

With next-generation 4K and 8K TV sets hitting the market and the on-demand streaming wars commencing, industry innovation and consumer demand shows no signs of abating in the home entertainment industry in 2020. The latest official figures* show the UK market grew by 10% in 2018 to reach £2.34 billion.

With over 1,400 hours of 4K content, there’s a wealth of shows and movies available to stream on Netflix, but only if you have a reliable connection of 25Mbps. This is simply out of reach for thousands of rural and hard-to-reach homes which aren’t connected to FTTP broadband and could even be beyond the capabilities of superfast households which have multiple devices regularly connected simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video 4K includes original shows like Modern Love and The Grand Tour, while it’s spreading to sports too, where advertisers are expected to take advantage of personalised interactions with viewers.

There will be both 4K and 8K production in place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while BT Sport Ultimate is capable of offering 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos across a range of devices and TV sets. BT also has the rights to Moto GP, Rugby Aviva Premiership and cricket’s Ashes, to broaden its sporting appeal.

Meanwhile, Samsung and LK are set to step up plans to introduce 8K TVs in 2020, and while native 4K content is not on the agenda, as we’ve argued before, traditional TV is losing the tug of war with the on-demand giants, with subscriptions increasing to cover almost half the UK population whilst traditional TV audiences continue to fall.

Business

From video conferencing to cloud storage, businesses are poised to unlock huge productivity and efficiency gains from Hyperfast full-fibre broadband this year. We know that many local businesses in East Anglia are currently being hampered by slow, unreliable connections, allowing competitors to gain the advantage.

But once they have connected to our future-ready network, they’ll be perfectly positioned to flourish. Video conferencing means less travel, helping companies and their clients to improve their carbon footprint.

If the employee lives in a village which has joined our network, they’ll be safe in the knowledge that working from home will not hamper their ability to share large files or miss out on Skype calls. Flexible and agile working are becoming more popular – and are better for the environment with less traffic on the roads.

Cloud storage and shared access will mean less hardware and maintenance costs, whilst Hyperfast broadband will provide the foundation to allow companies to facilitate and adopt these and other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and automation software, including data entry and email marketing.

Final Thoughts

Only ‘Hyperfast Britain’ can deliver a future-ready broadband service, ready to compete on the world stage now and primed for future upgrades, challenges and innovations.

*https://advanced-television.com/2019/01/03/uk-home-ent-market-reaches-2-34bn/

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