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County Broadband Name 36 Cambridgeshire Villages for FTTP

Friday, May 7th, 2021 (11:04 am) - Score 1,008
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Alternative UK network ISP County Broadband, which is currently deploying a 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) service across rural parts of England, has today announced that an initial 36 villages in Cambridgeshire have now been “earmarked for funding” to receive their full fibre service.

The provider, which is currently being fuelled by an investment of £46m from Aviva Investors, is presently deploying their gigabit-capable FTTP network across rural communities in Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Out of the 36 new Cambridgeshire communities announced today (many of these are in the south of the county), construction work is said to have already begun in 5 of the villages and some of the 36 new additions are due to be completed by the end of 2021.

The new villages in this rollout have been broken down into three categories: construction started; proposals approved and awaiting construction.

5 Villages with Construction Started
Fowlmere, Newton, Meldreth, Shepreth and Thriplow

18 Proposals approved (Build Starting Summer 2021)
Abington Pigotts, Barrington, Bassingbourn Cum Kneesworth, Bourn, Great Eversden, Guilden Morden, Harston, Haslingfield, Kingston, Little Eversden, Little Gransden, Litlington, Longstowe, Orwell, Steeple Morden, Toft, Waresley cum Tetworth, and Whaddon

13 Awaiting construction
Abbotsley, Abbots Ripton, Barton, Comberton, Colne, Great Gransden, Kings Ripton, Old Hurst, Pidley cum Fenton, Upwood the Raveleys, Wistow, Woodhurst and Warboys

Public meetings, including online events, are set to take place for residents and businesses to learn more about the rollout in each area. If enough people sign-up, then County Broadband will build the network (demand-led deployment).

James Salmon, Head of Territory at County Broadband, said:

“The pandemic has accelerated our demand for the internet, whether that’s shopping online, working from home, video calling or simply streaming more television content. Whilst it’s true many of us have just about managed with the existing Superfast copper networks, it won’t be long until this current technology is no longer capable of delivering the reliable speeds we’re going to need in the near future.

However, building real full-fibre networks, free from copper, takes time and involves a complex infrastructure construction process. If we wait until the last minute, it will already be too late. We therefore need to plan ahead and build today so people receive what they expect in the future. That’s why we’re urging local communities to get involved and register their interest in these projects, to ensure homes and businesses can future-proof their broadband services.

As we emerge from lockdown, we don’t want rural south Cambridgeshire to be left behind in the post-pandemic recovery. We’re investing millions of pounds in full-fibre infrastructure to help turbo charge the economy by boosting productivity and attracting new businesses to the region.”

Prices for the service can vary between different areas, although in most cases new customers will typically pay from £28 per month (excluding discounts) for an unlimited symmetric speed 50Mbps service with a bundled wireless router, then £48 for 300Mbps, £55 for 600Mbps and £80 for 900Mbps. Otherwise, the costs reflect the rural nature of CB’s deployment, which is inherently more expensive to build.

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6 Responses
  1. SimonM says:

    Of the “13 awaiting construction”, Abbots Ripton, Kings Ripton, Old Hurst, Pidley, Fenton, Upwood, the Raveleys, Wistow, Woodhurst and Warboys are in “North Cambridgeshire” rather than South.

    For some of those locations I’m surprised if they would make their money back, but obviously don’t know their costs. Warboys would probably be the largest area out of the “North Cambridgeshire” locations. If they are going to Upwood, they might as well continue a short distance to Bury and Ramsey – a town with a few thousand homes and only FTTC via the Openreach system (and Sky/TalkTalk unbunbled apparently), but no other rival FTTP service.

  2. Josh says:

    You’d have thought some of the market towns would be of interest/scale worth doing, St.Ives for example. There is a consultation of future ISP plans being conducted by Cambridgeshire County Council currently as part of project gigabit, so maybe St.Ives and others maybe included then.

    1. Craggle says:

      Most of the larger market towns are already covered to a large extent by Virgin Media, with Ramsey being the main exception – so I doubt they’d gain as many customers in those areas when competing on price.

      Getting higher take-up along with smaller build-outs and fewer properties to pass seems more their M.O. Focusing on villages with little alternative right now would make sense.

  3. Jason maker says:

    The parts of essex they have done and overbuilt on have literally no customers .

  4. Bures says:

    Mount Bures in Essex was one area destined for Fibre by County Broadband – they were months behind schedule.
    Most fibre hung on Poles

  5. Paul M says:

    Overbuilding using BTOR ducts might be cheaper than laying their own fibre, but means they’re going to have to compete hard for customers. They should focus on areas where the can become a defacto monopoly because there’s no worthwhile BT or Virgin infra to compete with.
    There’s a fair number of villages in cambridgeshire older than 40 years where ducting has collapsed if there ever was any, and there’s no telegraph poles, so digging is required, and BT are avoiding it because they are concentrating on the easy sites.

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