Villagers’ delight as new ‘superfast’ broadband arrives

Brian White (left) and Rod Wilson, acting village project liaison (right), outside The Rising Sun Inn at Nutbourne.
Brian White (left) and Rod Wilson, acting village project liaison (right), outside The Rising Sun Inn at Nutbourne.

Residents in the village of Nutbourne, near Pulborough, are enjoying the benefits of ‘superfast’ broadband at home, work and in the local pub.

The newly available fibre broadband services were installed with investment from the ‘Better Connected’ partnership between West Sussex County Council, BT Group and central government.

Since the new services have gone live, we don’t talk about broadband as a problem in the village anymore

Despite presenting an engineering challenge, the body of the village, which stretches along a winding main street, now receives access to speeds of more than 30 megabits per second (Mbps).

UK regulator Ofcom defines superfast as speeds greater than 30Mbps.

Residents living closest to the broadband supply can gain access of up to 80Mbps.

Brian White, chair of Nutbourne Residents’ Association said: “Slow broadband used to be a constant topic at our meetings as people grew frustrated.

“Now, since the new services have gone live, we don’t talk about broadband as a problem in the village anymore.”

The broadband services are provided through a new fibre broadband cabinet positioned outside of the village, and connected to the exchange at West Chiltington.

A popular meeting place in the village, The Rising Sun Inn is now offering free Wi-Fi to diners and drinkers.

Landlord Regan Howard said: “It’s early days but we hope the Wi-Fi will mean people enjoy their visit here even more and maybe make a point of calling in to make use of the fast connection.”

Meanwhile, local couple Frank and Erica Riddle are now finding it easier to communicate with family and friends far and wide.

They said: “We have friends worldwide and a son in Japan with a granddaughter so we can’t pop round to see them.

“We need a good broadband connection for modern communication via Skype, FaceTime and photos. Our service has increased from 1Mbps to 38Mbps.”

Local businessman John Wellard has also described the improved speeds’ positive impact on his work.

He said: “High speed broadband is making a huge difference to working from home.

“I write reports and road test articles for a national motor club magazine which requires high definition images. Now with 52Mbps download and over 14Mbps upload speeds, I’m able to send images in seconds.”

Up to now, the Better Connected partnership has enabled high speed broadband access for 67,000 homes and businesses countywide.

County Councillor Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We’re delighted to have made it possible for the majority of the county to enjoy high speed fibre broadband services, by building on the commercial roll out by suppliers.

“We’re still pushing further and want to reach an extra 7,000 premises countywide by the end of next year. We are being ambitious but believe this is achievable.”