Broomhall village embraces full fibre connectivity
7 September 2023
Residents in Broomhall, near Nantwich, have received a huge leap forward in digital connectivity following the successful rollout of gigabit broadband services to the area.
This has been delivered as part of a community fibre partnership funded through the government’s Gigabit broadband voucher scheme from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), and the Connecting Cheshire top-up voucher scheme.
The Broomhall community has been actively engaging with broadband suppliers and Cheshire East Council to try to secure better connectivity for several years but faced challenges due to both existing network complexities and the rurality of the village. However, in summer 2022 – with the help of the government’s GBVS and Connecting Cheshire Partnership’s local voucher top-up scheme – residents and local businesses were able to engage with Openreach as a supplier and utilise the voucher schemes to deliver gigabit capable fibre broadband to 13 premises deemed some of the most difficult to reach.
Gigabit broadband offers numerous advantages, including improved download speeds of up to 1,000mbps, fewer delays in opening webpages, and the ability to connect multiple devices at the same time. This infrastructure upgrade is expected to fuel economic growth for local rural businesses in Broomhall, enhance remote and cloud working capabilities, and vastly improve online experiences for local businesses and residents alike.
Councillor Mark Goldsmith, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “Seeing communities like Broomhall come together and utilise voucher funding to secure a future proofed connection is a fantastic example of how the hardest to connect properties can be reached.
“We have many active community schemes across Cheshire currently in their delivery stages, with more due to complete imminently. “The reason why Connecting Cheshire launched its own Top-up Funding Scheme was to enable a high volume of communities to access connections, especially in the more rural areas of Cheshire.”
Ann Pye, Broomhall's community broadband lead, said: “As a community, we are delighted with the arrival of full fibre broadband in Broomhall and Newhall, something we have been campaigning for over many years.
“This upgrade will undoubtedly boost our community's potential for growth and innovation.
“We thank Openreach for their commitment in making this a reality and this wouldn’t have been possible without the wholehearted support of residents and businesses in the community, Connecting Cheshire, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Edward Timpson MP and Rachel Bailey, our ward councillor.”
Audlem ward councillor Rachel Bailey, said: “The dedication from the Broomhall community and local project lead Ann Pye has been truly inspiring.
“Through tireless efforts, the technology locally has been revolutionised, providing future proofed broadband capabilities.”
With the broadband service now readily available, residents and businesses can get in touch with their internet service providers to explore various broadband packages and seize the opportunities of an increased broadband speed.
By combining efforts through the work Connecting Cheshire is doing on its DSIT and European Regional Development Fund funded contracts, commercial suppliers expanding their network and broadband voucher schemes, more towns and villages across Cheshire are now benefitting from Gigabit capable broadband.
The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is also undertaking a Cheshire wide procurement for Project Gigabit. More information can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/project-gigabit-uk-gigabit-programme.