A partnership between local residents and Openreach is set to make superfast fibre broadband available to the historic Devon village of Lapford.
The village, which has a variety of historic features including a 12th century church, rebuilt by William de Tracey as a penance for being one of the assassins of Thomas a Becket, will be getting the latest 21st century Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology capable of delivering speeds up to 80Mbps.
The new high-speed fibre network, funded by grants from Openreach and energy provider Calor, will deliver superfast speeds to the village, including Lapford Community Primary School, within 12 months.
A £3,585 grant is coming from Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which has been established to help communities not covered by any private or publicly funded fibre broadband rollout scheme. Eligible communities can apply for match funding towards the cost of a new local fibre network as long as the technology is capable of serving the local school.
Local resident and parish councillor Bill Graham, who organised the appeal in the village, said: “The arrival of this technology will make a huge difference to everybody in the village who uses the internet for work, education, leisure and day-to-day living.
“At present, the broadband service is inconsistent. Anything being streamed stutters and the system can drop out whilst users are trying to download complex documents, fill in order forms or do online banking.
“We have a significant number of people in the village who work from home and many of them also have young families so they are accessing the internet for a variety of reasons. Our public transport is so bad that many older residents have to carry out their supermarket shopping on-line.”
For more information on community fibre partnerships go to - www.communityfibre.openreach.co.uk
For more information about the Calor Rural Community Fund go to - www.calor.co.uk/communityfund