“We don't talk about broadband as a problem in the village anymore”
Faster broadband for West Sussex villagers
Residents in a West Sussex village are enjoying the benefits of ‘superfast’ broadband at home, at work and in the local pub.
Nutbourne, near Pulborough, has had new fibre broadband services made available as a result of investment by the ‘Better Connected’ partnership between West Sussex County Council, BT Group and central Government.
Despite presenting an engineering challenge, the body of the village, which stretches along a winding main street, now gets access to ‘superfast’ speeds of more than 30mbps.
Brian White, chair of Nutbourne Residents Association, said: “Slow broadband used to be a constant topic at our meetings as people were frustrated. Now, after the new services have gone live, we don’t talk about broadband as a problem in the village anymore”.
A popular meeting place in the village, The Rising Sun Inn, is now offering free wifi to diners and drinkers. Landlord Regan Howard said: “Its early days but we hope the wifi will mean people enjoy their visit here even more and maybe make a point of calling in to make use of the fast connection.”
Local businessman John Wellard said:” High speed broadband is making a huge difference to working from home. I write reports and road test articles for a national motor club magazine which requires high definition images. Now with 52mbps download and over 14mbps upload I am able to send images in seconds. How did we manage without it?”
Frank and Erica Riddle of The Old Manor, Nutbourne are enjoying keeping in touch with family and friends around the globe: “We have friends worldwide and a son in Japan with a granddaughter who it’s not possible to pop round to see. We need a good broadband connection for modern communication by Skype, facetime and photos. Our service has increased from 1mbps to 38mbps.”
New broadband services are provided through a new fibre broadband cabinet positioned outside of the village, and connected to the exchange at West Chiltington. It’s one of more than 300 cabinets installed and now made ‘live’ by the Better Connected partnership which has meant 67,000 more homes and businesses can get access to high speed broadband.
Local resident Rod Wilson, who acted as the village’s liaison for the project, said: “Having a single point of contact for both Openreach and the County Council helped us to gain a mutual understanding which was important in setting expectation in the village about what was going to happen, when and where. Now we are helping people to trouble-shoot connection issues and shop around for the best deals to really enjoy all of the broadband benefits. ”
West Sussex County Councillor Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We’re delighted to have made it possible for the majority of the county to enjoy high speed fibre broadband services, by building on the commercial roll out by suppliers. We’re still pushing further and want to reach an extra 7,000 premises by the end of next year. We are being ambitious but believe this is achievable.”
Steve Haines, managing director of next generation access for Openreach,said: “It is great to be able to work with communities like the people of Nutbourne to provide a fibre broadband solution. The progress on this project is a great achievement. Broadband numbers are increasing strongly, not least because people see it as a route to jobs and markets. It provides the cornerstone for prosperous communities – helping local people build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.This demonstrates the strength of the partnership between Openreach and the Better Connected West Sussex programme, and we’ll continue working together to reach even more properties.”