UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Visits Broadband for Surrey Hills Project

The UK Government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and local MP, Jeremy Hunt, has visited and praised the Broadband for Surrey Hills (B4SH) project for having worked with volunteers to help bring full fibre (FTTP) gigabit broadband to nearly 1,000 premises in a remote rural area of Surrey (England).

The project follows a similar mould to B4RN, which means it’s a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society (CBS) that is run by volunteers, who are helping to build the new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across some of the remotest corners of the Surrey Hills area. B4SH has so far connected 500 properties, including over 100 businesses, and has passed nearly 1,000 premises (via well over 100km of fibre duct).

The B4SH network is 100% underground and “does not use any unsightly and controversial poles“, unlike many other providers. The network is installed ’round the back’, going across fields and woodland and dropping into gardens from the rear, thus avoiding the costs and disruption of digging up roads and pavements.

The ISP also provides free connections to community assets such as village halls, churches and small primary schools.

Jeremy Hunt said:

“This is fantastic news for those people and businesses in rural areas who have previously been suffering from slow or intermittent broadband speeds. The team behind B4SH are to be commended for their hard work in bring gigabit speeds to the Surrey Hills.”

Angus Denny, B4SH Director, said:

“It was a great pleasure to welcome Jeremy to B4SH and show him the success of the volunteer-led model in delivering world-class gigabit broadband to areas of the Surrey Hills ignored by commercial providers”.

The Chancellor’s visit took place last Friday (12th), when he learned about the unique nature of B4SH, saw the map of B4SH’s network in the area and saw first-hand the gigabit technology that powers their network. He was especially interested in B4SH’s funding model, particularly the impact of the withdrawal of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), and the importance of the gigabit voucher scheme administered by DCMS, which is currently suspended across large parts of the UK while the Project Gigabit procurements run their course.

Recent Posts