Market Harborough residents unite to get fibre broadband

Hundreds of homes in Market Harborough are looking forward to a superfast future, after local residents took matters into their own hands to secure high-speed fibre broadband.

Hundreds of homes in Market Harborough are looking forward to a superfast future, after local residents took matters into their own hands to secure high-speed fibre broadband.

People living on the Farndon Fields development approached BT for help because they were affected by slow download speeds.

They quickly raised enough money, with support from CJC Developments (the developer who built the homes five years ago), to jointly fund a new fibre broadband cabinet. The work will be carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, which is also helping to fund the project.

Download speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available, so things like streaming music, watching TV online, and quickly uploading larger files will be possible.

Farndon Fields resident Richard Kyle, who led the community campaign, said, “We are really looking forward to being able to connect to fibre broadband. It will make a huge difference to the residents, especially those working from home and with children in the house.

“Being able to benefit from faster download speeds becomes more important as more home devices connect to the internet and so many things are accessed or delivered online. This will benefit people of all ages."

Nearly 300 homes on Farndon Fields will benefit from the new fibre broadband cabinet with work expected to be completed by Autumn 2017.

Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands, said: “We are working with communities, such as Farndon Fields in Market Harborough, 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 those living here.”

The agreement is another success for BT’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme, with more than 90 communities in the UK now connected to the fibre broadband network after getting in touch directly.

It means over 18,000 premises now have access to fibre thanks to the programme with dozens more similar contracts in progress set to extend that reach to around 35,000 homes and businesses.

And because all of the work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, residents in all of the CFP areas 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: “It is great to be able to work with communities like Farndon Fields to find a fibre broadband solution. We’re working on hundreds of similar community fibre partnership programmes across the UK, which are bringing faster fibre internet access to even more homes and 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.”

The contract signed by the residents of Farndon Fields is independent of the Superfast Leicestershire broadband partnership between Leicestershire County Council and BT, and BT’s own commercial rollout.

According to thinkbroadband.com, more than 94 per cent of homes and businesses in Leicestershire have access to superfast broadband. Across the country, more than nine out of ten UK homes now have access to superfast broadband, with a new property being able to connect, on average, every 30 seconds.

The rollout of superfast broadband in the UK is one of the quickest and most ambitious anywhere in the world with more homes in the UK now using superfast broadband than in Germany, France, Italy or Spain.

For more information about entering into a community fibre partnership with BT, please visit www.communityfibre.bt.com.