Residents and businesses in three Essex villages are due to benefit from BT’s fibre broadband rollout plan.
Kirby-le-Soken, Kirby Cross and Great Holland were initially not on the cards to get fibre. But talks between BT and Tendring District Council now means that more than 16,000 homes and businesses are in line to get FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet).
The villages will get connected to BT’s next-gen fibre grid when upgrades in the Frinton, Manningtree and Wivenhoe exchange areas begin over the coming weeks.
Neil Stock, Leader of TDC, said it was fantastic news which will make a huge difference to the lives of many people.
“Residents, businesses and councillors representing the villages were upset and felt they were being left out and disadvantaged when the original announcement was made,” he said.
“The Council has worked hard to ensure the right environment has been created for BT to invest in our District. We have developed a good relationship with them and it is paying dividends... [BT] went back and looked at the various options available to them and it has now been revealed that the upgrade will be extended. It will be a boost to the local economy and improve people’s quality of life.”
BT’s Regional Partnership Director Annette Thorpe said that the deployment of fibre broadband is complicated and “in some instances it is not commercially or technically viable to deploy cabinets.”
“However, we are pleased that after a detailed review, on this occasion, we have been able to include the cabinets originally omitted,” she added.
So while this story of fibre lighting up some of of the more remote corners of Essex, this shoudn’t be taken as a watchword for rural rollout elsewhere.
BT’s £2.5 billion rollout plan will see two thirds of the UK able to order fibre broadband from BT and a number of other ISPs; TalkTalk, Sky and Plusnet have all confirmed plans to sell fibre optic broadband packages.