Brantingham Village Claims Broadband Speed Crown

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

An ancient hamlet mentioned in the Doomsday book claims to have the fastest Internet village connection, but BT disagrees

A sleepy rural hamlet buried deep within the East Riding of Yorkshire has been named as having the fastest village broadband connection in the UK by Hull based KC, the local ISP and telecoms unit of KCOM Group,  formerly known as Kingston Communications.

However BT has disputed the accolade and has pointed to “numerous examples” of villages on its network that can achieve higher speeds.

Broadband Crown

KCOM Kingston Communications white phone boxThe area serviced by KCOM is unique in the UK, because during the 20th century that region kept its independent telecom network. This was in stark contrast to other regional telecom groups, which were all gradually absorbed into the telephone department of the General Post Office (GPO), which of course went on to become BT.

Thus the Hull and East Yorkshire region, with its notable white telephone boxes (pictured left, but not in Brantingham), has no local BT network whatsoever. KC began deploying its own fibre network in 2012, and now it claims that Brantingham in East Yorkshire, which has a population of just 370, is Britain’s fastest village for connecting to the Internet.

More than two thirds of homes and businesses in the village (50 out of 72 premises in the village)  have apparently signed up to the Lightstream superfast broadband service from KC. The ISP claimed that Brantingham now has an average download speed of 78 megabits per second (Mbps). That’s almost four times faster than the UK’s average broadband speed of 17.8Mbps according to Ofcom’s latest figures.

Brantingham is recorded in the Domesday Book, and is delighted with its fibre to the premise (FTTP) Internet connection, which would the envy of any city dweller, not just countryside resident.

“Members of the parish council worked closely with KC to promote the benefits of fibre broadband and it’s great to see how well it’s been received by residents,” said Tina Wyatt, chair of Brantingham Parish Council. “Good broadband speeds are increasingly important to people wherever they live and we’re thrilled that Brantingham’s on the map as the fastest village for internet connections.”

Digital Divide

And in a not so subtle dig at BT, KC claimed that its Lightstream roll-out is helping East Yorkshire avoid the ‘digital divide’ seen elsewhere in the country.

“Our investment in rolling out superfast broadband is about giving our customers the best connected homes and businesses in the UK, wherever they live,” said Sue Helmont, KC’s consumer director of consumer services.

“Our experience in Brantingham and other villages is that while it can be challenging to get superfast speeds to rural areas, once it’s achieved the response from customers is fantastic,” said Helmont. “We’re delighted to have helped put Brantingham on the map for superfast broadband. Best-in-Britain broadband has really added to the appeal of living in what was already one of the region’s most desirable villages.”

Meanwhile BT told TechweekEurope that there ‘numerous examples’ of villages around the UK that are connected to its FTTP service, which is delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps. These include Deddington in Oxfordshire, Fell End in Cumbria, and St Michael Penkevil in Cornwall.

Last month a report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) lamented the current state of broadband in the United Kingdom, and warned that thousands of businesses are still stuck on dial-up internet. BT however disputed the FSB’s “widely inaccurate” figures.

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