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FTTH ISP County Broadband Set Build Plan for 50 UK Villages

Friday, October 18th, 2019 (11:54 am) - Score 2,835

UK ISP County Broadband, which last year raised £46 million from Aviva to help it rollout a new Gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the rural East of England region, has today confirmed that their build plan will cover 50 rural villages by Q2 2020 (reaching 15,000 total homes passed).

The provider has already begun their demand-led network build in several communities around rural Essex (here) and last month they confirmed an expansion to another 30 (here); mostly within the Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree and near Haverhill (Cambs) areas. In keeping with this they’ve also been busy trying to identify villages in South Norfolk (including Breckland), where they could extend their network (here).

NOTE: CB usually aims to secure expressions of interest from 30% of premises in each community they target. The future aim is for 30,000 premises across the East of England.

As things stand today CB’s construction has already begun in the chain of build for the first 26 villages and they anticipate the first batch of customers being connected in November 2019. In terms of Norfolk, CB says that they’re currently planning for a possible delivery to about 25 villages.

A Spokesperson for CB told ISPreview.co.uk:

“These are exciting times for County Broadband as we enter the next stages of what will become a major Hyperfast build roll-out across rural Essex.

Our new Hyperfast fibre network will ensure homes and businesses in rural Essex are able to access future-ready FTTH broadband and we are very much looking forward to connecting our first customers in early 2020.”

Sadly a full list of the communities they’re targeting has not yet been published, although given the competition in some of these areas (e.g. Openreach and Gigaclear) then we can well understand why they might not yet be ready to reveal such detail. On the other hand it’s difficult to keep these things secret as fibre often follows a logical path and roadworks will eventually show up on a public database.

UPDATE 1:35pm

Added a comment from CB above.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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19 Responses
  1. chris conder says:

    Good luck to County Broadband, altnets are certainly upping the game in the UK. The main reason they won’t go public is that Openreach will try to stop them by grabbing the funding first, and also mailshotting areas promising the world which stops villages supporting the altnets. Hey ho.

    1. DontMakeMeLaugh says:

      You talking total crap as ever

    2. David says:

      Is he? Really?

      Nothing in our village for 20 years – max ADSL in the village was 11mbps – We had 2, yes 2 village hall meetings with a 1Gbps wireless ISP – and what do you know – 3 weeks later the exchange goes live with BT WBC FTTP at a rate of 1000/220

      An area they previously said was “unviable” so you are saying thats JUST a sheer co-incidence? I think someone from BT was at those meetings, they were publicly advertised in the local area of course months before.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      If FTTP went live three weeks later then it really was coincidence. You cannot deploy it that quickly, the lead time for street works permissions alone usually takes longer than that.

    4. David says:

      Oh yes they did the work to put the fibre stuff in the trees but then said it would never be live because it was not worth the cost – that to me seemed to be “doing a virgin media” they dug up the roads in 1997 but never bothered to put the cables down them – just walked away – back then we had around 200 houses – over 3200 now.

      Seems BT got a bit jumpy and decided to turn it on – was my point.

    5. DontMakeMeLaugh says:

      David, A simple coincidence or was it 007 at the back of the hall undercover.

    6. Fastman says:

      the build time for FTTP is normally about 12 months – – from Openreach

    7. A_Builder says:

      Well if OR have a PM who can get fibre deployed in 3 weeks expect someone with a very nice car in the car park and a rapid move to the executive level.

      Alternatively you would have the most headhunted PM ever.

      Now back to reality – you couldn’t get things organised in three weeks even with all the stars aligned and Mystic Meg helping.

  2. MrNew says:

    With Openreach, Gigaclear and now Country Broadband deployments there’s going to be lots of overbuild around Chelmsford.

  3. Fastman says:

    interesting view of the world that one — devoid of fact as ever

    Openreach don’t mailshot anyone – more disinformation as ever

    wondered what ever happended to their build in west bergholt ?

    1. CJ says:

      Virgin Media project lightning beat them to it.

    2. Fastman says:


      not quite suggest you look at some of the history on that one
      do nothing and someone else will do something

  4. Allen says:

    At last my estate is going to get something better that standard ADSL (8Mbps). Thanks to BT using us as a trial of a mini exchange in the 90s

    1. Fastman says:

      interesting your exchange had a offer to do FTTP via gigabit vouchers but turned it down is my understanding – I assumwe you are referring to lucy lane north

    2. Allen says:

      Yes it is.

      If BT had made an offer they never let people on this estate know about it. I for one would have bitten their hand off. Been chasing for years to get better internet

    3. Fastman says:

      hhhh no one shared it within community

    4. Fastman says:

      the offer would have come from Openreach direct to the person who raised it with the MP

  5. Jon says:

    3 weeks? I hope you realise how planning works, streetworks, funding, manpower, build plans etc. This takes months to get right and to build to budget

  6. Ian says:

    Have they even started this in Suffolk? Information seems a bit light on updates other than its happening. I highly doubt Haverhill will be seeing anything of note for years, and even if so it looks like its just key services getting the service and not residential houses.

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