Ellington in cyberspace as superfast broadband arrives

Celebrating superfast broadband in Ellington, from left, resident Chris Stening, Councillor Ian Bate

Celebrating superfast broadband in Ellington, from left, resident Chris Stening, Councillor Ian Bates, BT regional director Annette Thorpe, programme director for Connecting Cambridgeshire Noelle Godfrey, broadband champion Darren Tysoe, and resident Graham Crouch. - Credit: Archant

If all you want for Christmas is to be able to surf the internet speedily, then you may be in luck.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast fibre broadband roll-out is advancing across the county, ending misery for many internet users.

The partnership, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is now celebrating making high-speed fibre broadband available to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough since it was launched a year ago.

To mark the milestone, representatives from CCC, BT, Connecting Cambridgeshire, and residents joined together to celebrate being over half way to its target of reaching 90,000 premises by the end of 2015. They met at the cabinet at the High Street, Ellington, which went live less than three weeks ago and has already seen over 40 per cent of residents upgrade in time for Christmas, prompting Openreach to extend the capacity of the new green fibre broadband cabinet.

And plans are being drawn up to reach even more premises with better broadband using extra Government funding to extend the programme, with further details due to be announced in the new year.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have installed 250 new fibre broadband cabinets and laid over 350 kilometres of fibre cable to extend the existing network in this complex engineering project, which has involved crossing major roads such as the A14, overcoming power issues and inclement weather.

Cambridgeshire county councillor Ian Bates, chairman of the economy and environment committee, which is responsible for Connecting Cambridgeshire, said: “It’s been a superfast year for Connecting Cambridgeshire and it’s the perfect Christmas present to know that we are on track to bring high speed fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses that would not get the chance otherwise.

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“Decent broadband is fast becoming essential for many people and we are seeing above average take-up in areas where faster broadband has arrived. We know it is frustrating having to wait, but rest assured, by the end of 2015, Cambridgeshire will be one of the best connected counties in the country.”

Connecting Cambridgeshire is working with BT and the Government body Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to roll-out the new broadband network in the most cost effective way to ensure maximum coverage for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Annette Thorpe, BT’s regional partnership director for the East of England, said: “The work undertaken by Connecting Cambridgeshire and BT to make fibre broadband available to more homes and businesses across the county is vital. It helps people to work where and how they want and also brings entertainment and knowledge to people and families at home. A year into the partnership this milestone is great news for all.”

Ellington broadband champion and parish council clerk, Darren Tysoe, used Facebook and emails to spread the word rapidly to fellow residents as soon as Connecting Cambridgeshire let him know it was live.

He said: “It really is a Christmas present for the village. It’s going to make a big difference to families and people who work from home.”

The first Ellington household to upgrade to fibre broadband is now getting superfast download speeds of up to 80mbps having had less than two mbps.