Getting high speed fibre broadband just before the Covid-19 outbreak began has been ‘a godsend’ for a family living in rural South Cambridgeshire.

Derek Risk was only one week into his new job as the IT Director for a motor retail company, based in Milton Keynes with offices across the country, when the lockdown started and has been working from home ever since.

In early March 2020, the household had finally been able to upgrade to the latest Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology, which was installed by an Openreach engineer, bringing broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps.

Fibre broadband was rolled out to a small cluster of homes on the edge of Ickleton village through the Connecting Cambridgeshire digital connectivity programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, which has now reached over 97.7% of homes and businesses. The programme is working to fill remaining gaps in coverage in harder to reach areas as well as encouraging and supporting commercial fibre delivery across the region.

Derek, who upgraded to the highest speeds available to be ‘future proof’, said: “It has been a godsend and quite life changing to be honest. I’ve been working from home on video calls all day, which wouldn’t have been possible pre Covid-19. My stepson is back from University and is a keen gamer so we need lots of capacity!”

The faster speeds and capacity mean all four members of the household can access the Internet at the same time for video calls, streaming movies, shopping and gaming, which was impossible previously when they could only get 8Mbps.

Derek added: “As an IT Director I have seen the potential to reduce office space if more of us work remotely. The Covid-19 situation has been a trigger for us all to use technology to work more flexibly.

  • If you want to upgrade your broadband speed, visit the Connecting Cambridgeshire Getting better broadband webpage to check if you can get faster speeds and follow the steps to upgrade, or find out about the options available.