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Colchester full-fibre broadband firm backs Project Gigabit but warns ‘tide is changing’

21 Mar Colchester full-fibre broadband firm backs Project Gigabit but warns ‘tide is changing’

A Colchester firm building full-fibre broadband infrastructure worth millions of pounds in rural Essex has welcomed the government’s new ‘Project Gigabit’ flagship plans to turbocharge the rollout – but has warned the “tide is changing” and urgent action is needed now.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband, based in Aldham which is building full-fibre infrastructure in rural Essex (Colchester, Braintree and Chelmsford areas) and East Anglia backed by £46 million in private investment from Aviva Investors, said:

“We welcome the Government’s flagship ‘Project Gigabit’ to turbocharge the rollout of future-ready full-fibre broadband – including in East Anglia where we’re already making great strides to build world-class digital infrastructure to allow thousands of rural homes and businesses to adapt and thrive post-pandemic. We’re confident of seeing continued enthusiasm among private investors to keep pace with rising demand.

“While many local communities may consider their broadband to be adequate for now, the tide is changing and our data demands are surging. Full-fibre networks aren’t built overnight so if we don’t act now many people will find themselves digitally stranded sooner than they might think, with existing connections reaching their expiry date.

“We know Boris Johnson is relying on local providers like us to achieve the watered down but more realistic 85% target for UK-wide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025. We look forward to working with the Government on banishing current copper networks to the history bin and we’ll continue to make clarion calls to stop copper networks being marketed as ‘Superfast fibre’, which only creates confusion for the consumer.”