Colchester’s County Broadband could build full-fibre in Sudbury


Community leaders are urging residents in Sudbury to back proposals to build a new full-fibre network unveiled by County Broadband which aims to transform the town’s digital connectivity into one of the most fastest and reliable in the UK.

Around 8,000 homes are earmarked to receive the service and have been added to the community provider’s growing rollout of its new gigabit-capable digital infrastructure across rural East Anglia. The local project is being backed by a £46 million private investment from Aviva Investors.

The announcement comes after the UK fell 13 places in global rankings for internet speeds and is now among the slowest in Europe in 47th place, new research* found. The Hyperfast network would replace the current part-copper Superfast FTTC infrastructure (fibre-to-the-cabinet) that dates back to the Victorian times with FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises).

The new network will deliver improved reliability and provide speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps initially – nearly 20 times faster than the UK average – upgradable to over 10,000 Mbps in the future. The FTTP infrastructure could be built and operational by spring 2022.

Neighbouring villages Belchamp Otten, Belchamp St. Paul and Belchamp Walter approved the plans for their communities and had the network built earlier this year. In total, over 100 villages in north-east Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk are earmarked in the rollout.

The community broadband provider, based in Aldham near Colchester, is encouraging residents and business owners in Sudbury to find out more details and sign-up to the scheme online.

Ciaran Griffin, town clerk at Sudbury Town Council, said: “Sudbury Town Council is delighted to see that we will be one of the UK’s top performers for broadband speed and reliability.

“Covid-19 is forcing rapid changes, with many more residents working from home and local businesses building e-commerce platforms to support their high street presence. This world-class digital infrastructure will be vital to attract new business to Sudbury, helping the recovery and building resilience for the future.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson is relying on local providers like County Broadband to achieve his flagship target of UK-wide gigabit-speed connectivity by 2025. It forms part of his “infrastructure revolution” to catch up with the rest of the world and support the Covid-19 economic recovery. The news also follows fresh government advice to work from home until next spring.

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