Uptake of superfast broadband sky high in South Cambs village as Connecting Cambridgeshire roll-out continues

Calvin Coe, Openreach, Dave Hughes, BT, Nigel Strudwick, Broadband Champion, Malan Peyton, resident,

Calvin Coe, Openreach, Dave Hughes, BT, Nigel Strudwick, Broadband Champion, Malan Peyton, resident, Noelle Godfrey, Connecting Cambridge, Mike Peyton, Resident, Martin Stonebridge, BT, Mike Sparkes, Resident, Sarah Marsh, Connecting Cambridge and Chris Goldsmith, Openreach, stand next to the new broadband box in Whaddon - Credit: Archant

The demand from villagers in South Cambs for superfast broadband has been so that high that take-up has been among the quickest in the county.

Nigel Strudwick, Broadband Champion

Nigel Strudwick, Broadband Champion - Credit: Archant

More than half of the households and businesses in Whaddon have ordered fibre broadband within a month of the new street cabinet on Bridge Street going live – having endured slow connections for years.

Faster fibre broadband has been brought to the community as part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband roll-out programme for rural areas, led by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with BT and Openreach.

Whaddon’s ‘broadband champion’ Nigel Strudwick has led the community’s campaign and said: “This shows just how important this new fibre connection is to people in Whaddon and it was worth agitating on behalf of the village to get faster broadband to get the village into the 21st century.

“Without Connecting Cambridgeshire fighting our corner, we would not have got where we are now. It’s the latest of a series of improvements to living in Whaddon and we are now looking to install Wifi in our refurbished village hall to make it more attractive for events.”

John and Anne Warrack, who live on the edge of the village at Dyers Green, said: “We feel as though we have finally joined the 21st century, as the new broadband makes using the Internet a joy rather than a nightmare. We’re looking forward to Royston becoming 4G next!”

Kate French, of Bridge Street, said: “Before we had fibre broadband, it would take over four hours to download new software to our laptop – now it takes minutes and we can stream live TV at the same time. It has made a huge difference to us as a family of four, all with numerous connected devices – we no longer have to take it in turns to use the internet.”

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Farmer Stan Smith said: “The new fibre optic has certainly made a big improvement to my business. Particularly with accessing all the agriculture compliance regulations from DEFRA and the Environment Agencies, together with banking online.”

Peter Haselden, financial director of Amex Travel UK, said: “It has revolutionised our lives. I can work from home without having to apologise to colleagues that Skype won’t work, the children are ecstatic that Clash of Clans no longer cuts in the middle of an attack, and my wife can watch BBC iPlayer in the kitchen to her heart’s content without entering into the ‘war of the remote control’.”

Councillor Ian Bates, chairman of the economy and environment committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The rapid take-up of fibre broadband in Whaddon shows how important good connections are for our rural communities to thrive. There’s still more to do, which is why the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is continuing to roll-out fibre to as many premises as we can.”

Visit www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk to find out if you can get fibre broadband.