Plans to provide faster broadband to 30,000 council homes announced

Photograph of Hackney city scape.

Full fibre connectivity will be rolled out across thousands of Hackney council homes. - Credit: Hackney council

Tens of thousands of Hackney residents are to benefit from faster, more reliable internet services and social initiatives following an agreement between Hackney council and a London broadband company. 

The deal with provider Community Fibre is the first to take place following the launch of the council's new Better Broadband programme. 

The programme aims to work with full fibre broadband providers to roll out networks to 30,000 council homes and the borough's 200 council estates.

Housing services chief Cllr Clayeon McKenzie said of the "innovative partnership": “The past year has shown how important good internet services are to our residents, and it’s vital that those in council homes don’t get left behind because the place they live suffers from poor connectivity.

“That’s why we’re connecting Hackney by working with organisations to not only bring better broadband to our council homes and community facilities, but also secure other benefits to support our most vulnerable residents and tackle digital exclusion."

Community Fibre is working with councils across London to increase full fibre to home (FTTH) broadband services in the capital. 

Community Fibre technician installs high-speed broadband

Broadband provider is helping install faster high-speed broadband across London while providing community initiatives to help tackle the digital divide. - Credit: Community Fibre

FTTH broadband services made up just 2.33 per cent of fixed broadband connections in the UK in 2019, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), making it one of the lowest countries in the OECD list. 

By contrast the top OECD country was South Korea which scored 81.65% for full fibre connections. 

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The majority of connections in the UK and London are fibre to the curb (FTTC) connections which means high speed glass fibre cables feed into street cabinets and then through older tech Coaxial or copper cables to the home. 

Copper is a speed limiter and so, FTTC cannot deliver internet speeds as fast as FTTH. 

In addition to faster internet, providers participating in the Better Broadband programme will also offer benefits and support for local communities and residents. 

The partnership with Community Fibre will see connections set up for local facilities like community halls, children’s centres, extra care housing for older people, and temporary accommodation hostels.

The company will also offer digital training, apprenticeship and job opportunities for residents, with some discounts available to digitally excluded households.

Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre. said: "We believe that everyone deserves better broadband. Our approach will be crucial to help build a more inclusive digital future for Hackney and across London communities.”

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