It’s been an exciting time with the third (and hopefully) final campaign to bring leading-edge broadband capabilities to the rural village of Spaldwick in Cambridgeshire. Historically, urban areas have always been favoured when it comes to the latest broadband technology, which means that rural communities have to be proactive to make sure they don’t fall behind.
Following a successful local broadband campaign, Spaldwick was one of the first rural villages in the UK to get standard ADSL broadband in July 2004. At the time, download speeds of up to 5 Mbps seemed really impressive. However, with widespread deployment of superfast broadband in urban areas, it wasn’t long before the broadband speeds in Spaldwick lagged behind more fortunate areas, and we had to take action again!
In a local village registration campaign with Connecting Cambridgeshire, we managed to secure one of the highest numbers of registrations in Cambridgeshire and we were one of the first rural villages in Cambridgeshire and the UK to get superfast fibre broadband, offering download speeds up to 80 Mbps. We received a lot of national attention.
The weakness of the technology implemented – called Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) – has became clear over time as the demand for increased speeds has grown. FTTC has created a two-speed village. While villagers close to the fibre street cabinet achieve speeds at or close to the maximum possible, households further away get significantly slower speeds and services can be more unreliable.
Over the last few months, we have embarked on a third initiative to bring ultrafast and ultra-reliable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology to the village, which currently offers download speeds up to 910 Mbps. We are now so very close to achieving our target, which would make FTTP available to all villagers next year! As well as equipping the village with world-class broadband connectivity, we aim to help other villages across Cambridgeshire and the UK to do the same.
For more information about the campaign, please visit: