Rural businesses at Thorner dig their way to ultra-fast internet

Small businesses and farms based near Thorner have banded together to build their own private pure fibre network after suffering from slow internet connections.

Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 5:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 5:36 pm
A number of small businesses and farms based near Thorner have enlisted the help of a local B2B telecoms provider to build their own private pure fibre network after suffering from slow connections.

Frustrated by the lack of options available from leading service-providers, businesses at Eltofts agreed to work together to solve the problem.

Their ultrafast Gigabit City connection, which went live after just four months, was installed by Diva Telecom, the Leeds-based partner of CityFibre, which powers the ultra-fast Gigabit City Leeds pure fibre network.

The link provides a 1-Gigabit speed connection over a 24km length of fibre to Wetherby Road near Thorner and from there, residents dug their own trenches so that the fibre could be laid directly to their home offices.

Andy Wright, owner of Bardsey Computers in Eltofts, said the community had been ”left in the dark ages”: “For years Eltofts has suffered from slow internet speeds and sub-par services, in some cases spending over £80 per household for dual lines to achieve a mere 6Mbps download speed.

“As a community, we agreed that action had to be taken which is how we came to explore the option of a private fibre optic leased line.”

Eltofts now has the fastest rural broadband in the world and benefits from upload and download speeds of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps).

Twelve premises have now been connected to the Eltofts network, and one of them belongs to renowned plastic surgeon Professor Simon Kay, who performed the UK’s first double hand transplant.

He said: “We have always battled with a painfully poor connection, despite an extremely expensive dual line set-up, making it difficult to update your phone, let alone being able to work from home or run a business from home.

“This new connection has dramatically improved our digital quality of life in Eltofts and allows us finally to take advantage of the technology and digital advancements that have become the norm.

“I’m now able to do multi-participant HD video conferencing with other surgeons around the world from my office at home, something that was never possible before.”