Openreach engineer using ground penetrating radar to help lay fibre cable Image-Openreach

Cranfield’s homes and businesses can sign up to some of the fastest broadband speeds available in the UK

People living and working in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, can now upgrade to some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections available anywhere in the UK.

Cranfield is one of just 13 rural communities to benefit from a new broadband trial. This trial was to find new ways of building full fibre in in ‘hard to reach’ areas. The trial has led to hundreds of new full fibre locations being announced across the UK.

Engineers have spent the last 10 months building the new network, installing 80 kilometres of fibre cables – that’s enough to stretch from Cranfield to London – to provide more than 2,000 local homes and businesses with full fibre broadband.

Openreach said that ‘Gigabit-capable’ full fibre broadband provides better performance, impressive speeds and fewer drop-outs as fibre is connected directly to a home or business. Openreach’s regional partnership director, Laura Whelan, said:

“A huge amount of work has taken place in Cranfield, and our build continued despite the obvious challenges of recent months. People living here are some of the first to benefit from full fibre, thanks to the village being announced as one of our trial locations.

“Now the build is complete, we strongly encourage everyone living and working in Cranfield to find out more about upgrading to full fibre and taking advantage of the many benefits.

“Full fibre is more reliable and more resilient, meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent and much faster speeds. It’s also ‘future-proof’ as we expect it to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies for decades to come. To upgrade, people need to speak to their broadband provider to find out more about how to switch.”

The Cranfield rural broadband trial enabled engineers to try out new ways of building in market towns and villages.

Not only did it help develop a range of new tools, skills and techniques to help reach places previously considered too complex or expensive to upgrade, but it also enabled engineers to get to grips with new equipment that enables them to work faster and with far less disruption for local communities.

Building the new network in Cranfield has been a complex and time-consuming task and has taken the best part of 12 months to complete. Engineers are using existing infrastructure – like telephone poles – wherever possible to minimise disruption.

Work is also taking place in three other locations across Bedfordshire; Shefford, Clifton and Henlow.

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Openreach engineers