Around 50 homes in Rockingham can now benefit from some of the fastest broadband speeds available in the county after archaeologists gave the green light for fibre cables to be laid into the village.
Engineers working for Openreach, BT’s local network business, called in the experts when survey work highlighted the planned route for new underground cables would pass through an area of historic interest.
As a result, an archaeologist spent time at the site before deciding the work could proceed as planned. The fibre roll out in the area is part of the county council’s Superfast Northamptonshire Project.
County Councillor Ian Morris, the Cabinet Member leading on the broadband project said: “Getting our rural communities connected is a key focus for the county council and we know first-hand from local residents and businesses how important this is.
“This is not always straight forward. With the second stage of Superfast Northamptonshire well underway with BT, we are coming across new and interesting challenges as the fibre network is extended further into the rural areas. The need to safeguard our history which may be buried underground is just one of those considerations when new ducts routes need to be dug. I am delighted that Rockingham is now benefitting from some of the fastest broadband speeds in the county.”
Fibre to every household
Around 1,200 metres of new cabling and ducting was laid as part of the work to make fibre broadband available in Rockingham. The most economical solution in this instance was to make fibre available direct to every household – a technology known as Fibre to the Premises. This involved installing 15 new fibre pods and three new telegraph poles.
Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “After discussions with Corby Borough Council and Historic England, we felt it was wise to get an expert opinion to make sure engineers didn’t disturb a potentially sensitive and historic site. Once they were given the all-clear by the archaeologist, we were then able to make fibre broadband available throughout the village.
“It’s bound to make a huge difference to people living and working in Rockingham, with much faster download speeds now available. Everything will happen much faster online, whether working from home or enjoying things like catch-up TV, music streaming and online gaming which will now be possible, where they might not have been before.”
Fibre broadband is available in Rockingham thanks to the multi-million pound Superfast Northamptonshire project. With public and private investment, this has already provided access to superfast broadband (download speeds above 24Mbps) to tens of thousands of premises across the county in areas of need.
Which other villages have benefitted?
And there’s plenty more to come as the county council’s second Superfast Northamptonshire contract with BT is already starting to make a difference. Some of the latest communities to benefit include parts of Brixworth, Broughton, Horton, Piddington, and Wollaston. Other areas coming soon are Everdon, Preston Capes and Easton Maudit.
And by December next year, the Superfast Northamptonshire project should have made fibre based superfast broadband available to more than 74,250 homes and businesses across the county.
To access the benefits of superfast broadband, residents and businesses should contact their internet service provider and enquire about an upgrade – as customers do not automatically get faster broadband once fibre has ‘gone live’ in an area.
People can check whether Superfast Broadband is available in their area. The project website is updated as the network is rolled out and new broadband services become available - the When and Where map and Roll Out Schedule should be of particular interest.
The county council is keen to hear from local residents and businesses and has launched a new on-line survey to find out more about the level of demand for superfast broadband. More details are available on the project website homepage.
Funding for the first two stages of the Superfast Northamptonshire project is a combination of a £16.2 million public investment, and £6.9 million from BT.