‘We have the opportunity to turbo-charge the economy, drive productivity and develop new industries with a full-fibre industrial revolution’

New reports show the region’s copper infrastructure has now reached its limit amid rising demand for faster speeds and better reliability. Read our reaction.

East Anglia-based full-fibre broadband provider, County Broadband, has said a new Ofcom report shows the region’s copper infrastructure has now reached its limit amid rising demand for faster speeds and better reliability, and has pledged to accelerate its full-fibre rollout across rural East Anglia.

Ofcom’s new UK Home Performance report shows average UK download speeds are just 50 Mbps with some 8% of homes having connections slower than 10 Mbps. Broadband speeds in rural areas are at an even lower level of 43 Mbps.

Whilst there has been some improvement over the last 18 months, the UK is still slower than many of its European neighbours. Cable.co.uk’s new reliable Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2021 puts the UK in 43rd place, behind 23 European countries including Germany (36th, 60 Mbps), Romania (29th, 67 Mbps) and France (19th, 85 Mbps).

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s flagship target to deliver gigabit-speeds (1,000 Mbps) to 85% of homes by 2025 relies on local providers like County Broadband, which is funded by a multi-million-pound private investment, to build new full-fibre networks in rural East Anglia.

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James Salmon, Director of Sales and New Territories at County Broadband, said: “Whilst these new reports show progress has been made in upgrading the UK’s digital infrastructure, there is still a long way to go. The existing Superfast copper-based networks, often touted as ‘fibre’, have significant limitations and will hold back UK growth opportunities.

“We are reaching the upper limit with copper-based networks which can no longer be upgraded. The technology is fundamentally limited and the speeds can’t get any faster. We must focus on building full-fibre networks which will deliver greater speeds, greater reliability, and a broadband solution fit for all our future needs.

“That’s why we also continue to languish behind our European neighbours. France boasts speeds twice as fast as the UK, for example, because like others they’ve realised much earlier that they need to undergo a full-fibre revolution to keep pace with modern life.

“Homes and businesses can just about get away with 50 Mbps for now but, just like dial up, these speeds will be a drop in the ocean in comparison to our data requirements in the near future. Consumers and businesses are using ever more devices, applications, and smart technology, that all require a faster and reliable connection to the internet.

“Think about the number of devices connected today verses what you used to connect say just five years ago, to see how our use of the internet has increased. We need to think about what we’re going to need in another five years, today.

“We have the opportunity to turbo-charge the economy, drive productivity and develop new industries with a full-fibre based industrial revolution. But, as with any infrastructure project, delivering a new broadband network takes time so we need to plan for this today. If we leave it any longer, we risk being left behind by the rest of the world.

“County Broadband is investing in East Anglia to ensure rural communities aren’t digitally stranded and we continue to build and connect thousands of residents and businesses to our growing full-fibre network.”

To see if the service is available in your area, visit www.countybroadband.co.uk

ENDS

Photo caption: James Salmon, Director of Sales and New Territories at County Broadband. Copyright: Warren Page. Credit: County Broadband

For more information please contact:

Tim Miller: 01473 326 405 / tim.miller@genesispr.co.uk

Matt Stott: 01473 326 433 / matthew.stott@genesispr.co.uk

Cheriton Alexander: 01376 562 002 | 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/