King’s Cliffe residents raise funds for fast fibre broadband

BTs Paul Bimson with Kings Cliffe resident Sam Schofield
BTs Paul Bimson with Kings Cliffe resident Sam Schofield

A community is looking forward to a superfast future, after local residents took matters into their own hands to secure fibre broadband.

People living on the new Sovereign Grange housing estate in Kings Cliffe approached BT for help earlier this year when their plans to get fibre broadband from another telecoms provider fell through.

Within a few weeks, they raised thousands of pounds and asked Openreach, BT’s local network business, to help with the installation of a new fibre broadband cabinet, underground cables and the engineering work required. The project was jointly funded by Openreach and the local residents.

King’s Cliffe resident Sam Schofield, who led the fundraising campaign, said: “It is great news we can now connect to fibre broadband and it will no doubt make a huge difference to people living here. Being able to benefit from faster download speeds is more important than ever with so many things accessed or delivered online. It makes so much more possible than before and benefits people of all ages.

“It’s such a relief to have finally got there. As soon as we signed a contract with BT we knew we were in safe hands and I’m delighted to say thanks to Openreach the network is now up and running. We are extremely proud of what we’ve achieved as a group of local residents.

“Raising the money was a real challenge for us but a combination of hard work and community spirit got us over the line.”

The King’s Cliffe broadband fundraising campaign was launched late last year by a group of villagers and quickly raised, via crowd funding, the money needed to sign a contract with BT.

The new roadside cabinet in Wood Road makes fibre broadband available to more than 345 homes for the first time. They’ll all be able to benefit from download speeds of up to 80Mbps, a huge improvement on what was previously available.

And because the work has been carried out by Openreach, residents have a wide choice of internet providers and can benefit from a wide range of competitive packages.

BT’s regional partnership director for the East Midlands Paul Bimson said: “We are working with communities just like Sovereign Grange in Kings Cliffe up and down the country.

“People here have shown real determination and vision to bounce back from earlier disappointment. We were really pleased to step in and rescue the situation. It’s been a pleasure working with local residents to make fibre broadband available.”

The agreement is another success for BT’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme, with more than 90 communities in the UK now connected to Openreach’s fibre broadband network after getting in touch with the company directly.

It means more than 18,000 premises now have access to fibre thanks to the scheme.