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Rural UK ISP County Broadband Completes Sudbury FTTP Rollout

Tuesday, Apr 2nd, 2024 (12:43 pm) - Score 720

Despite last year’s concerns over redundancies (here), network provider County Broadband has today announced the completion of their work to deploy a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the Suffolk market town of Sudbury, which is home to a population of around 13,000.

The full fibre provider, which has been supported by an investment of £146m from Aviva Investors (here), is currently deploying their new FTTP network across rural parts of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk in England (i.e. they’ve been building to over 250 villages).

NOTE: Aviva also backs Truespeed (here) and ITS Technology (here) etc.

One of CB’s biggest individual builds, across the town of Sudbury, first began all the way back in October 2021 (here) and was a demand-led project (i.e. CB may have only been able to proceed once enough locals had expressed an interest). In total, 75% of Sudbury’s approximate 8,000 homes, businesses and community venues were earmarked for the rollout.

According to today’s announcement, the operator has now “completed building its gigabit-speed full fibre infrastructure in Sudbury“. The operator adds that a total of approximately 6,200 premises have been “connected” to the FTTP infrastructure as part of the multi-million-pound infrastructure build work across the historic market town. But we suspect they mean covered, rather than connected.

James Salmon, Director of Corporate Development at County Broadband, said:

“We are pleased to complete our full fibre network build in the historic Suffolk market town of Sudbury which will benefit from the unrivalled network reliability and significantly faster gigabit speeds that the new infrastructure provides.

As a community provider that prides itself on its commitment to engage closely with local leaders, residents and businesses across our network, we are also pleased to be working with local sports clubs and the town council on upcoming exciting events. This vital community engagement will enable us to continue to provide on-the-ground support where it’s needed across the town.”

Customers of the service typically pay from £35.99 per month (reduced from £42.99) for an unlimited symmetric speed 100Mbps package with a bundled wireless router on a 24-month term, which rises to £54.99 for 900Mbps (reduced from £84.99).

However, it’s worth noting that Openreach also has extensive FTTP coverage in the town, while Lit Fibre, which is currently being consolidated into CityFibre’s national UK network, has also covered quite a few parts of Sudbury.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Lawrence Tan says:

    County Broadband have been promising to connect us to their network for 2 years. We live just outside a village (Burgh-next-Aylsham). The whole village has been connected and they have ducts in the ground at the end of our drive. Despite this they have not connected our 4 households. All four households are keen to be connected, so they have guaranteed customers if only they’d connect us. Our drive is 400m long, but it wouldn’t take much to use a mole-plough to provide a service to us. The land owner also owns one of the houses and he’s happy for them to lay a cable on his land. We’ve all signed up and pre-ordered their fttp service. Despite contacting them numerous times they still won’t tell us when we’ll be connected. Very poor communication – especially as their business is communication! It seems that their happy to connect the ‘easy’ properties, but not so happy to connect the slightly more remote premises. From my perspective they’ve done a pretty poor job of connecting the rural community for which they were given the contract to serve.

    1. Avatar photo 125us says:

      I don’t believe they have a contract to serve the area. It’s a commercial rollout and they’ll choose who it’s economic for them to serve.

  2. Avatar photo Jason says:

    They only focus on the towns now as struggle to get the rural communities connected. My village in Purleigh was connected a few years ago and people initially signed up but they were full of false promises so we moved back to Sky . A lot of my neighbours have done this too now . Sometimes the grass isnt greener

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      It’s great, we’ve got places where you can get 5 different networks and yet people in rural or difficult to build areas are so far being left out in the cold. Does anyone know of another country that’s gone down this ridiculous route?

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      I know of plenty where the hard to reach areas have zero FTTP, Dave. Some urban ones having multiple networks means nothing for those: the businesses building in urban areas wouldn’t be building in rural if they couldn’t overbuild they just wouldn’t exist.

      Don’t worry: many of these rural altnets will be put out of business by Openreach overbuild in due time. Their prices reflect their higher costs, Openreach have the scale to subsidise theirs in rural areas costing thousands a premises passed via the urban areas costing £250 each or less.

  3. Avatar photo Bob says:

    There is no way they have 6,200 connected. I suspect hey mean 6,200 homes passed. They are competing with Openreach and Lite Fibre Hard to say how many have actually taken up the service , I suspect it is in the hundreds rather than thousands

  4. Avatar photo Suffolk says:

    Gigaclear are also in Sudbury installing FTPP

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      I thought they were only in Essex and Long Melford and Waldingfield. No aware of them covering Sudbury

    2. Avatar photo Suffolk says:

      They were working in Bulmer Road last Sept/Oct offering residents fibre at £17/month

  5. Avatar photo LS says:

    6,200 homes passed in 2.5 years?! Maybe I’m wrong but these are not numbers to be proud of – surprised they’re not keeping it quieter! That’s less than 210 homes a month.

    When you compare CBB’s lack of progress with other Altnets rollouts it suddenly doesn’t look promising

    That coupled with the conversations any of the more than forthcoming ex employees are willing to have via LinkedIn etc and suddenly all doesn’t look Rosie in the garden. Ironic their CIO was bemoaning government bodies switching off their phone lines when that’s exactly what this lot did to their customer service lines for large portions of last year…

    I’m just pleased I got out of my contract and could go with another altnet that started build after them and delivered before them!

Comments are closed

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