Ultrafast connectivity is set to come to thousands of rural homes and businesses in the east of England thanks to a new investment from network provider County Broadband.
The Essex-based firm has received a £46 million injection from Aviva Investors, which will allow it to roll out gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology to around 30,000 properties throughout East Anglia.
Chief executive at the company Lloyd Felton said the investment will help improve the quality of life for people in rural communities, as well support economic growth.
"Many premises might have access to broadband, but the ultrafast speeds that we will all soon need are only available to around six per cent of the UK," he continued. "Household usage and data consumption is already predicted to increase ten-fold every six years and only ultrafast solutions will match this requirement."
County Broadband noted that many rural communities are still suffering from broadband 'black spots', as they rely on copper infrastructure that may have been in place since the Victorian era.
It also highlighted research that shows even where 'fibre broadband' is available, this is usually not FTTP, but instead fibre-to-the-cabinet technology that still uses copper to reach users' homes. This has a significant impact on speeds, reliability and the ability to upgrade to meet future requirements, the company stated.
County Broadband has already rolled out a full fibre gigabit network covering 3,000 premises in Broughton, Cambridgeshire, and plans to double its workforce in the coming months in order to deliver ultrafast services to more locations.
Mr Felton said: "Our goal is to provide a world-class, future-proof infrastructure which will deliver ultrafast broadband speeds of 1,000Mbps now and even faster speeds in future, as well as providing additional services such as telephony, home security and access to the vital services that the local authorities and health services plan for online access in the coming years."