Leicestershire villages urged to grab broadband lifeline

Openreach's Wendy Sycamore

MP Alicia Kearns delighted that full fibre broadband is within touching distance for 4,000 rural homes and businesses

Openreach is urging residents in 20 Leicestershire villages to get behind a bid to bring full fibre broadband to their homes and businesses.

People living and working in places like Burrough on the Hill, Knipton, Rearsby, Rotherby, Scalford, Somerby and Waltham-on-the-Wolds all risk missing out, if they don’t apply for free Government broadband vouchers.

It’s a simple online sign-up process, at no cost to residents, and the vouchers are used to cover the cost of Openreach building an ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband network.

Residents can check if they qualify and pledge their voucher at www.openreach.co.uk/connectmycommunity

If enough people sign up, the villages will join more than 40,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire who already have full fibre broadband. If they don’t, then they risk missing out on a once in a lifetime upgrade to full fibre.

Wendy Sycamore, Openreach’s regional engagement manager, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for around 4,000 homes and businesses in villages around Melton Mowbray to secure all the benefits of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband for their community.

“Using our Fibre Community Partnership programme, we’re able to potentially bring hundreds more communities across the UK, including these 20, into our Full Fibre build plans. But building to these harder to reach locations is still challenging – which is why it’s only possible with everyone working together – you, your neighbours and Openreach.

“Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make these Leicestershire communities some of the best-connected places in the UK.”

Funding through the Governments Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and the deployment of new broadband signal boosting technology* – which can extend the reach of the full fibre network, means thousands more remote rural communities are now within reach of the ultrafast technology.

Somerby Leicestershire

Openreach identified these Leicestershire communities as being strong contenders for Full Fibre and is urging local people to take the next step by applying for and pooling together free Government Gigabit Vouchers to help fund the build.[1]

Residents can check if they qualify and pledge their voucher at www.openreach.co.uk/connectmycommunity

Alicia Kearns MP is backing the initiative, saying: “Now, more than ever, rural communities need fantastic connectivity to fully interact with the world. Full fibre technology will make a massive difference to local homes and businesses. It makes sense for the local build programme to be extended as far as possible, and I urge residents to pledge their vouchers for the common good and help us to make sure that nobody’s left behind.”          

Once the pledge target for the scheme is reached, residents need to ensure they then validate their vouchers with the Government so that Openreach can confirm that building work can get underway. As part of the funding conditions residents are asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available and confirm they are connected.

Full fibre technology provides more reliable, resilient, and future-proof connectivity; meaning fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands. It's also future proof, which means it will serve generations to come and won’t need to be upgraded for decades.

The full list of communities includes:

KniptonKnipton, Branston, Eaton, Croxton Kerrial, Harston, Woolsthorpe, Denton
RearsbyRearsby, Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Thrussington
ScalfordScalford, Wycomb, Holwell
SomerbySomerby, Knossington, Owston, Burrough on the Hill, Pickwell
WalthamWaltham on the Wolds, Goadby Marwood, Stonesby


[1] the decision to build, the premises covered and the timeline are subject to technical survey and the correct threshold of validated vouchers being reached