One year on: Leicestershire community is flourishing thanks to fibre partnership
Wednesday 21st June, 2017
Residents of a small community in rural Leicestershire have been describing the ‘huge and positive’ impact that superfast broadband has had on their lives since they were connected to the Openreach fibre network just over a year ago.
It was back in March 2016 that the Coleorton Hall estate in Coleorton, and the nearby villages of Churchtown and Farmtown, were upgraded to fibre after striking a co-funding deal with BT through its Community Fibre Partnership programme. The story began when a group residents living in Coleorton Hall, a grade II listed building that’s been consisting of 12 apartments and 35 other properties, approached Openreach after discovering they weren’t included in any fibre rollout plans.
Benefits that more than compensate for cost
The community and Openreach worked together to reach a solution so that the estate, plus around 120 homes and businesses nearby, could be served by a brand new fibre-enabled cabinet giving speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Resident and broadband campaigner David Basten has been thrilled by the outcome.
“We were all incredibly frustrated with the pretty feeble download speeds we were getting. But now we’ve gone from being one of the most disadvantaged estates in the country to being in the top half. The benefits we as residents are getting from our superfast connection definitely outweigh the costs involved.”
Improved quality of life
“The quality of life has definitely improved for all of us who now have a superfast connection. It’s already had a significant impact on property prices and that that has to be good news.”
He adds: “BT’s Community Fibre partnerships programme came up trumps for us. Since we first got in touch, everything has just flowed.”
Residents of Churchtown, Farmtown and Coleorton Hall are now enjoying a superfast service on the network which is open to all communication providers on an equal wholesale basis, meaning they can choose from a number of internet service providers.
Jon Wohlters also lives in Coleorton. He says superfast has helped to improve many aspects of his whole family’s lives.
“For example, we can access the fullest high quality media which means my young children can take advantage of a raft of educational resources.”
Jon recommends that other communities who are not part of any fibre rollout plans should certainly consider working with Openreach and the BT Community Fibre Partnership programme.
More choice for subscribers
“I would highly recommend using Openreach to provision a community as this removes much of the risk and liability of owning infrastructure and also keeps an open market for subscribers.”
“Reaching a solution through the Community Fibre Partnership was certainly worth it for our community as it is really helping to protect the housing market from any depreciation associated with poor broadband speeds.”