Bedfordshire village to be used as testbed for UK's fastest internet

Cllr Wenham
Cllr Wenham

Cranfield is set to become one of the fastest villages in the country - after being picked as one of 13 rural towns and villages to trial the fastest possible broadband service.

Broadband infrastructure supplier Openreach has selected Cranfield as a testbed, which will mean homes and businesses are connected using all fibre-optic cable.

Currently the last connection to the internet is BT’s copper telephone wiring which imposes a ceiling on download speeds.

Cllr Richard Wenham, executive member for corporate services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This is welcome news and is only made possible by our long-standing investment to bring fibre-optic internet across Central Bedfordshire – a project we began back in 2012.

“If the trial is successful, by April next year Cranfield residents and businesses will have access to one gigabit per second download speeds. This is because we subsidised the cost for Openreach in installing a fibre-optic network in the village.

“And while most of us may not need that kind of blazing speed immediately, with technologies on the horizon like 8K TV, the trial means Cranfield will be future-proofed.”

He added: “In lay terms, you’ve currently got this lightning fast network going past your house but you can only connect with it in a way which slows it right down.

“Taking full advantage means laying a new, separate fibre-optic cable to your premises from the nearest part of the existing fibre-optic network.”

During the trials Openreach say they will also be using new tools and techniques to reduce the cost of bringing fibre broadband to remote rural areas.