Coleorton becomes the 50th Community Partnership nationwide to connect to the Openreach fibre network
Thursday 31st March, 2016
Fed up of their internet speeds of around 1-2Mbps, a small group of residents in the Leicestershire village of Coleorton partnered with Openreach, BT's local network business, to bring superfast broadband to their village. People living in Coleorton Hall, a Grade II listed building converted into 22 residential apartments, weren't included in any fibre broadband plans so approached Openreach to find a solution. Working together, the community and Openreach agreed to jointly fund the fibre build – with Openreach contributing the standard amount for a fibre upgrade in line with their commercial model. The community worked together so as to gap fund the additional costs to serve their area.
This partnership represented a major milestone nationwide, as Coleorton became the 50th community in the UK to be connected to the fibre broadband network after taking positive community action and working directly with Openreach.
A new roadside fibre broadband cabinet was installed just outside the entrance to the Hall, as previously each property was connected by ‘exchange only' telephone lines.
"We're committed to working with communities like Coleorton to help them achieve their goal of a fast fibre connection. Rural areas often present the most difficult and complex challenges but working together gives us the best chance possible of finding a suitable and affordable way forward." Said Kim Mears, Openreach's managing director for infrastructure delivery.
Enjoying the benefits
It's not just those living in Coleorton Hall who benefit. Around 120 homes and businesses across the wider village can also sign-up to fibre broadband thanks to the newly installed network.
Broadband speeds are more important now than ever before, particularly in rural areas. Having access to superfast broadband opens up many opportunities, enabling people to do so much more online now than before.
Residents are now enjoying a superfast service on the network, which is open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, enabling them to choose from a number of internet suppliers. They're enjoying download speeds of up to 80 Mbps.
Bill Murphy, BT's Managing Director for Next Generation Access, said: "We've been very clear that we'll never say no to any community wanting to work with us. The residents of Coleorton Hall have shown great vision in joining together with Openreach to secure access to the fibre broadband network. It's a major step forward for the village and fibre opens up endless opportunities for people living and working locally."