Connecting Cambridgeshire

Connecting Cambridgeshire is improving Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s digital infrastructure – including broadband, mobile and public access Wifi coverage – to drive economic growth, help our businesses and communities to thrive and make it easier to access public services.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council, is led by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and, with additional funding from the Greater Cambridge Partnership, is working with local councils, government bodies and external organisations.

Our Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2025 builds on the past success of our collaborative work with other local councils, government, and commercial providers to ensure that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has the leading-edge digital connectivity infrastructure needed for local businesses to thrive and that no communities are left behind.

We’re working with telecoms suppliers and mobile operators to improve broadband, public access Wifi and mobile coverage across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Our Enabling Digital Delivery service is supporting telecoms operators working on critical broadband and mobile networks, and can help to liaise with planners and streetworks.

We are also offering support by signposting businesses and communities to help available to keep everyone connected via our help to get online page.

Digital connectivity

The updated Connecting Cambridgeshire Digital Connectivity Strategy sets new, challenging targets to help ensure that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is well positioned to take full advantage of current and emerging technology advances.

The strategy focuses on delivering next-generation broadband connectivity and mobile coverage, using ‘Smart’ technologies to improve the environment, and extending free public access Wifi, while supporting digital inclusion.

It builds upon the ongoing work of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme which has established a national reputation for collaborative working at the forefront of innovation, attracting public and private sector funding to invest in future-facing digital infrastructure.

The Combined Authority also has ambitious targets to address the digital divide by levelling up access and reducing inequality in health and access to education, jobs and public services, including improving connectivity for social housing residents.

What we’ve delivered

In 2011, Cambridgeshire County Council invested over £20m in future connectivity by launching the Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband programme and contracting BT* to rollout fast internet access for thousands of homes and businesses that would not be covered commercially.

Together with £3m from Peterborough City Council and £8.75m government funding, the County’s initial outlay has since been used to leverage further funding, grants and private investments including £5.6m from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to extend the programme to improve mobile and public access Wifi as well as fibre broadband.

Since then, Connecting Cambridgeshire has been rolling out superfast (and faster) broadband access to as many homes and businesses as possible that could not get it otherwise.

Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, fewer than 60% of premises could get superfast broadband services up to 24Mbps in 2011. Our superfast broadband rollout project, combined with commercial provision, has now brought superfast access to well over 98% of premises – above the national average – with plans to reach over 99% coverage (the definition of superfast broadband is now recognised as speeds of 30Mbps).

Our final phase of the broadband rollout project to fill remaining gaps in coverage is now complete. It used the latest fibre to the premise (FTTP) technology to bring gigabit-capable connections through a combination of commercial and public investment.

Take up of faster broadband has been among the highest in the country – now over 85% (which is ahead of the UK government target of by 2025)and we are seeing a growing demand for gigabit-capable full fibre, offering future proof speeds of up to 1000Mbps.

*As part of the National Broadband Scheme 2012 and 2016 requirements, please find here the latest wholesale passive and active product pricing lists from suppliers who have benefited from the publicly funded projects: Openreach.

Programme overview

Find out more about all the work we’re involved in by choosing one of the categories below: