A BROADBAND firm is in the running to be crowned best rural provider in the UK.

County Broadband, based in Aldham, has been unveiled as a finalist for the Best Rural ISP category at the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) Awards 2021.

This is the firm’s second year running as a finalist in the most prestigious awards event for the internet industry.

This year’s ISPA awards recognises the achievements of the UK’s broadband providers after a year of surging demand for connectivity during the pandemic as home working and remote learning increased.

Finalist County Broadband saw an 80 per cent increase of data usage at the height of the first lockdown and is now building new full-fibre broadband networks in rural and remote villages across East Anglia.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, said: “We are pleased to receive this national recognition after securing a place as a finalist for the second year running.

“This achievement represents the hard work, determination and passion our team has shown in delivering a much-needed broadband boost to rural communities.

“Installing new infrastructure on this scale is a complex task, requiring significant planning and can take time to deliver. It involves the co-ordination of highways, landowners, civil works and advanced fibre optic engineering.

“It is fantastic to be able to now be able to reward those communities who have supported our efforts, many of whom have been incredibly patient whilst these networks have been in-build, with future proof Hyperfast broadband.

“We’re playing our part in ensuring rural homes and businesses have the full-fibre connectivity they need not just now, but for generations to come.

“As a community provider, we’ve been working closely with villages to deliver this service and we’ve been pleased to support projects from raising funds for foodbanks to donating tablets to schools.

“This awards shortlisting is a testament to this commitment.”

The winners of the ISPA 2021 awards will be announced on November 4 at a ceremony in London.