House prices in Coleorton protected by superfast broadband scheme

Leicestershire villagers highlight the many benefits of high-speed technology

One of the people who led a campaign to get fibre broadband to the Leicestershire village of Coleorton says its arrival has helped protect house prices.

It’s just one of the many benefits highlighted by local residents since they joined forces with Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, to make fibre broadband available in their area.

Coleorton Hall, a small collection of around 50 properties, was one of the first groups in the country to sign a Community Fibre Partnership, where the cost of installing the technology was shared with Openreach.

Resident and broadband campaigner, Jon Wohlters, said superfast broadband is proving to have many benefits for family life: “We can access the fullest high-quality media, which means my young children can take advantage of a raft of educational resources.

“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.”

Residents of Coleorton Hall first got in touch with BT after realising they were not part of a current fibre broadband rollout plan.

They worked with Openreach to reach a solution so the estate and nearby areas, including around 120 homes and businesses in Churchtown and Farmtown, could benefit from a new fibre-enabled broadband cabinet – with download speeds of up to 80Mbps.

It’s proving popular as well, with latest figures showing more than three quarters of local homes and businesses in the area have already chosen to benefit from a fibre service since it went ‘live’ a year ago.

Steve Haines, managing director for Openreach, said: “It’s great to be able to work with communities like Coleorton to find a broadband solution. More than 92 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar projects across the UK, with around 300 contracts signed to date, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers.”

Last year, Coleorton became the 50th Community Fibre Partnership nationwide to connect to Openreach’s fibre network.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “There are a number of communities across the region working with us in this way. The residents of Coleorton showed great vision and determination to be among the first in the country to take getting fibre broadband into their own hands. Our partnership with them worked extremely well and I’m pleased to hear of the positive impact the technology is having.”

People not included in any current plans for rolling out fibre broadband can visit communityfibre.bt.com to find out how to help bring superfast broadband to their local area.