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Fibre broadband connections for historic Northamptonshire village

Friday, July 8th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Around 50 homes in a Northamptonshire village can now access fibre broadband after the county’s superfast rollout got the thumbs-up from archaeologists.

Engineers for the Superfast Northamptonshire project called in experts because the planned route for new underground cables was set to go through an area of historic interest in Rockingham.

An archaeologist spent time at the site before deciding that the work could proceed as planned.

Around 1,200 metres of new cabling and duct was laid and fibre connections now run all the way to each premises.

Councillor Ian Morris, of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Getting our rural communities connected is a key focus for the county council.

“This is not always straight forward. With the second stage of Superfast Northamptonshire well underway with BT, we are coming across new and interesting challenges as the fibre network is extended further into the rural areas.

“The need to safeguard our history which may be buried underground is just one of those considerations when new ducts routes need to be dug.”

Steve Henderson, BT’s regional director for next generation access, said: “After discussions with Corby Borough Council and Historic England, we felt it was wise to get an expert opinion to make sure engineers didn’t disturb a potentially sensitive and historic site.

“Once they were given the all-clear by the archaeologist, we were then able to make fibre broadband available throughout the village.

“It’s bound to make a huge difference to people living and working in Rockingham, with much faster download speeds now available.

'Much faster'

"Everything will happen much faster online, whether working from home or enjoying things like catch-up TV, music streaming and online gaming which will now be possible, where they might not have been before.”

Other communities to have recently benefited from the second phase of the Superfast Northamptonshire project include parts of Brixworth, Broughton, Horton, Piddington and Wollaston.

Residents in Everdon, Preston Capes and Easton Maudit can expect fibre connectivity in the near future.

Superfast Northamptonshire expects to have made fibre available to more than 74,250 homes and businesses by December 2017.

Funding for the first two stages of the Superfast Northamptonshire project is a combination of a £16.2m public investment and £6.9m from BT.

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