Breath of fresh air for Northants village as wind farm helps fund fibre broadband
A small rural community in Northamptonshire is looking forward to a superfast future after local residents took matters into their own hands to secure high-speed fibre broadband.
People living in Clay Coton, a village of just 17 properties, approached BT for help because they were struggling with the equivalent of an online headwind due to slow download speeds.
Using their local charity fund, residents were able to use money given to them for community use by a local windfarm to jointly fund a new fibre broadband cabinet in the village.
Work will be carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, which is also helping to fund the project. And with the wind now firmly at their backs, the new technology should be ready to use by Autumn 2017.
Village resident and chair of the parish council, Nigel Bates, said, “We are delighted we’ll soon be able to benefit from fibre broadband and the faster speeds it brings. It’s been a real team effort to get to this stage and it’s great to see the community set to benefit from the local windfarm. We’re only a small village but our charity – the Clay Coton Cow Commons Fund – is of huge benefit to village life, and we’re delighted to be able to use it to fund this work with BT.
“You cannot underestimate the importance in modern life of having a quick broadband connection. So much of what we do online needs a superfast connection and it really will make a huge difference to those of us living in Clay Coton. It’ll be great for people working from home, those with families, and indeed anyone who wants to get online and do things much quicker than before.”
The agreement is another success for BT’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme, with more than 95 communities in the UK, totalling around 18,000 premises, now connected to the fibre broadband network after getting in touch directly.
Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “We are working with communities, such as Clay Coton in Northamptonshire, up and down the country. Making fibre broadband available to communities is one of our top priorities and working directly with a group of residents like this is just one of the ways of making that happen. People here have shown great determination to make this happen and fibre broadband opens up endless opportunities for them.”
Download speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available in Clay Coton, so things like streaming music, watching TV online, and quickly uploading larger files will be possible.
And because all of the work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, residents will still have a choice of internet service providers and be able to choose from a wide range of competitive packages.
Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “We know the impact broadband has on our lives, and it’s great to be able to work together with communities like Clay Cotonto find a fibre broadband solution.
“We’re working closely with hundreds of similar communities on our community fibre partnership programmes across the UK, which are bringing faster fibre internet access to even more homes and local businesses. Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible in the UK to allow families and businesses to do even more online.”
Across the UK, more than nine out of ten premises can access superfast broadband speeds. For more details on the roll-out visit openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen
Those struggling with broadband speeds who are not included in a plan can visit communityfibre.bt.com to find how to help bring superfast broadband to their local area.