A TOTAL of 20,000 rural homes and businesses in Constable Country have been earmarked to receive some of the UK’s “fastest and most reliable” broadband.

Broadband provider County Broadband has announced 15 villages on the Essex/Suffolk border are to benefit from the super-fast internet in a major boost to home-workers.

East Bergholt, Brantham and Capel St Mary are some of the names which have been added to the provider’s rollout of hyperfast full-fibre broadband.

The new FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) networks provide speeds of 1,000 Mbps to each property – about 11 times faster than the UK average. FTTP infrastructure also provides far greater reliability as it has no copper in the network.

James Salmon, director of sales and new territories at County Broadband, said: “The pandemic has shown just how crucial having fast and reliable internet has become, and while people might have been happy with 40 to 50 Mbps speeds yesterday, that is no longer sufficient today, let alone next year.

“Our increasing internet consumption continues to grow and as more speed is available, more technology will use it.

“The harsh reality, especially in rural areas, is that broadband supplied over copper cables is simply too slow, too unreliable and it seriously limits what people can do – from home entertainment to flexible and home working.

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“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.

“Designing and building this multi-million-pound rural infrastructure takes about 12 to 18 months, meaning the full-fibre networks could be live by Christmas 2022.”

Other villages set to benefit from the rollout include Bentley, Holton St Mary, Nayland-with-Wissington, Stoke-by-Nayland and Stratford St Mary.

Experts at the Centre for Economics and Business Research predict the deployment of full-fibre broadband could be worth £5.38billion to the East of England economy.

Residents and businesses can find out if they are in the rollout area by visiting www.countybroadband.co.uk and entering their postcode.

County Broadband engagement teams will hold public meetings and online webinar events for each village to explain the rollout and answer questions.