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