County Broadband shortlisted for Best Community Support Project at UK Fibre Awards 2024 after Castle Hedingham support in rural Essex

East of England rural community broadband provider, County Broadband, has received national recognition for its wide-ranging village engagement after being announced as a finalist in the Best Community Support Project category at the prestigious UK Fibre Awards 2024.

County Broadband has been shortlisted after delivering a successful package of local community support for Castle Hedingham, an Essex village which is part of the provider’s full fibre rollout across rural and remote areas of the East of England.

County Broadband has deployed a dedicated local team in Castle Hedingham during the rollout in recent years, providing tailored updates and support to local leaders, residents and businesses.

In addition to holding Q&A meetings and delivering updates, the provider has committed to carrying out additional support across the village, ranging from voluntary work to sponsorship initiatives.

For example, our teams refurbished a former phone box that had previously been converted into a defibrillator access point. This included professional cleaning, sanding and painting.

Meanwhile, we carried out regular litter picks across the village and surrounding areas, and provided free drop-in Q&A sessions to help with computer and other digital problems for local residents.

Elsewhere, we supported the Castle Hedingham Bowls Club with a sponsorship package that included a free connection to our full fibre broadband network, a charity grant to help the Club to build a new canopy roof (via our separate Hypercharged Foundation registered charity), advertisements around the Club, and a Refer A Friend scheme that raised over £500 for the Club.

James Salmon, Director of Corporate Development at County Broadband, said: “We are pleased to have been shortlisted for the Best Community Support Project award at the UK Fibre Awards 2024.

“The shortlisting is testament to our team’s dedication and commitment to providing our local communities with tailored updates, reassurance and support as our rollout continues to gather pace.

“Our community engagement in Castle Hedingham exemplifies our corporate value of ‘caring for the communities we serve’. We have built warm relationships with the village’s local leaders, residents and businesses and placed County Broadband at the heart of the community as a trusted partner.

“We look forward to representing the East of England at the UK Fibre Awards 2024 and wish all the shortlisted finalists the very best of luck ahead of the exciting ceremony in London.”

Full fibre broadband, also known as Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP), is the installation of fibre optic cables directly into premises. The new large-scale full fibre broadband infrastructure provides speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (gigabit-capable) which is 11 times quicker than current copper superfast networks. Full fibre can also be upgraded to 10,000 Mbps in the future and provides vastly superior network reliability due to the technology of the fibre optic cables.

In contrast, copper-based superfast connections are based on Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC) Victorian technology in which fibre cables are sent to roadside cabinets and distributed via copper cabling.

In total, County Broadband is designing, building and deploying full fibre broadband in over 250 villages and market towns across the East of England, backed by a combined £146 million of private investment from Aviva Investors, to help drive local economic growth and provide reliable access to modern online services in response to rising demand in rural and remote areas.

The UK Fibre Awards 2024 is being held at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel on 6 June. See the shortlisted finalists here:

Whether you’re a resident or business, you can check if you’re covered in County Broadband’s full fibre rollout by entering your postcode at where you can also register your interest in finding out more about the infrastructure and service.

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