Leicester

Hambleton in Rutland gets ultra-fast broadband

Residents in a Rutland village have raised £150,000 to help fund ultra-fast broadband for its homes and businesses.

Hambleton is the first village in the county to get a complete fibre service with speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).

Commercial firms such as BT and Virgin Media have previously said that to lay special fibre-optic cables in smaller rural areas was not cost-effective.

Rutland Telecom teamed up with a fibre network builder to provide the service.

Villagers said they were getting a broadband speed of less than 1Mbps and approached the internet service provider to install a faster network.

'Advancing world'

Resident spokesman Richard Foulkes said: "People will be able to vastly improve their work/life balance and we can also build sustainable technology-based businesses.

"Our older villagers can easily and reliably connect socially, our schoolchildren can excel and families will be able to stream and download films to enjoy together in their own home, being truly connected and integrated in this fast-paced, technologically advancing world."

So far, more than 40 of the 65 homes in Hambleton have now subscribed to the ultra-fast broadband service.

The owner of Finch's Arms, a hotel and restaurant in Hambleton, said he has seen a "significant change to our clientele" with a speed of 63Mbps.

Colin Crawford said: "As soon as we started advertising the services we can now offer, we have more working executives and business people. I've never known anything change so fast."

In April 2010, residents in Lyddington, Rutland, raised £37,000 to help fund a high-speed broadband of up to 40Mbps for 200 homes, with the help of Rutland Telecom which was reselling BT's broadband.

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