Virgin Media has agreed to pipe 120Mbps fibre to the villages of Habrough and Stallingborough, where speeds weigh in as low as 0.5Mbps.
The community group One Voice has secured funding from Virgin Media to install fibre in the villages, provided that permission to dig up the roads is granted from local authorities.
One Voice spokesman Duncan Watts said: “We are delighted to confirm that we will be extending our fibre optic network to bring superfast broadband and next generation TV services to the residents of Habrough and Stallingborough.”
“As the project will require significant construction we are currently working through the planning stages and liaising with the local council to seek approvals for the works required and will begin scheduling our roll-out as soon as received.”
One Voice was unsuccessful in securing money from the Government for the project but this didn’t stop them. Launching a local survey, One Voice found that over 70 per cent of residents said they’d switch broadband providers if faster speeds were available, which convinced Virgin Media to cough up.
Speaking to the Grimsby Telegraph, One Voice campaigner Thomas Horton said: “We thought that the Government’s plan to increase speeds was flawed but knew we couldn’t convince a company to come in out of sympathy for the residents. To get investment from a private company we needed to show that they could make money so we conducted the survey to show demand.”
No word yet from Virgin Media about the cost of this investment or if there’s plans for similar rural rollouts. Timing of the rollout is of course dependent on the council’s decisions – One Voice will be posting updates on its Facebook page as and when they’re available.
It’s a bit of a toss up right now for the rural UK as to whether they’ll get fibre or not. Earlier this week it was announced that BT had brought three Essex villages into the fold after they’d initially been excluded from the £2.5 billion rollout.
Yesterday’s announcement from BT and the Welsh government will see fibre coming to 96 per cent of the country, perhaps to the chagrin of those in the 4 per cent of rural spots which won’t get it.