Whissendine Speeds Soar Thanks to Openreach Broadband Boost

People living and working in the Rutland village of Whissendine will soon be able to order some of the fastest broadband speeds available anywhere in the UK.

Local resident and business owner, Trevor Dustan, has led the local community to join forces with Openreach and Rutland County Council, to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable full fibre broadband available.

The work – secured after the community pledged support for the Government’s Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme - builds on the existing superfast broadband network in the village, which was put in place in 2013, as part of the Digital Rutland programme.

‘Gigabit-capable’ full fibre broadband – available to order from a range of broadband providers – is the next step, and provides better performance, more impressive speeds and fewer drop-outs as fibre is connected directly to a home or business.

Trevor runs local company Skimflat Property Maintenance: “Living and working in the village, I know just how important fast and reliable broadband is, not only for family life, but also for running my property maintenance company. Bringing full fibre all the way to our homes will completely transform the way people can go online and provide everyone living here with a state-of-the-art broadband connection, now and for decades to come.

“Fast and reliable broadband is important for any business. The ability to get online and connect with customers, manage social media channels, place orders, and deal with all of the admin that comes with running your own company is essential. I genuinely can’t wait to be connected to the new fibre network.

The reaction from the village has been fantastic. I made sure all 450 properties had a leaflet about Openreach’s broadband scheme and shared information on the various social media groups we have here. The local pub, The White Lion, were also incredibly supportive and helped rally support and act as a focal point for the community. At one point, they even had information about the fibre build on their bar screens to make sure people didn’t miss it.

The team at Openreach set up a dedicated Intranet for us and within a week we had not only met but exceeded the target which kick-started the scheme. Both Openreach and Rutland County Council were excellent throughout the whole process. I’d strongly urge other communities in the same position to look at working together in the same way.”

Future-proof full fibre broadband is capable of carrying speeds of up to 1Gbps* - around 15 times faster than the UK’s current average - bringing more reliable broadband to places like Whissendine.

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s partnership director for the Midlands, said: “We’re really glad to be working with the local community and our county council partners. Rutland has always been a frontrunner when it comes to making faster broadband available. It was one of the first to start rolling out superfast broadband, has had consistently high take-up and community interest since then, and I’m pleased to say is now well on the journey to increasing full fibre coverage. This build is expected to take about 12 months.

“Whissendine is the first village in the county to benefit from Openreach’s full fibre network and people living and working here are going to notice a huge difference. Our engineers – designated as key workers during the Covid 19 pandemic - have already started building the network, and because we use existing infrastructure wherever possible, we’re keeping disruption to an absolute minimum.

“Full fibre is not only much faster, but it’s more reliable and future-proof for years to come. Once the network is built, villagers should get in touch with the company they pay for their broadband and enquire about upgrading to full fibre. It doesn’t happen automatically.”

Fibre optic cables are really powerful and tough, providing a future-proof network that’s ready for anything thrown at them. This includes homeworking, running a business, video streaming, tablets, laptops, VR headsets, or even smart technology like home heating and lighting controls.

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Fast and reliable broadband is vital to help people stay connected, particularly in rural areas like Rutland. This has never been more important, given the extent to which we’ve all come to rely on the internet for work, education and keeping in touch this year.

The Digital Rutland project has created the best possible conditions for families and businesses to upgrade and take advantage of faster internet speeds. It’s encouraging to see the community in Whissendine taking this one step further by upgrading to gigabit-capable full fibre broadband through the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme. We are also working hard to bring full fibre broadband to more communities in Rutland as part of the UK’s Local Full Fibre Network Scheme.”

According to independent website Think Broadband, around 97 per cent of residents within Rutland already have access to superfast fibre coverage at speeds of 24Mbps and more.

Local homes and businesses can check what services are available to them specifically on the Openreach fibre checker.