People living in rural north Essex now have some of the fastest broadband in Britain thanks to work installed during lockdown.

Eight Ash Green, Aldham and Dale Close in Stanway near Colchester have speeds 18 times faster than the UK average. Local company County Broadband has provided the gigabit- capable nertwork which puts the area in the UK's top 10% for digital connectivity.

The government has pledged that the entire UK should have access to gigabit capable speeds by 2025 to catch up with the rest of the world. County Broadband is also putting in hyperfast broadband in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Residents and businesses can visit www.countybroadband.co.uk and enter their postcode to see if the network is available in their area.

“The current lockdown has shone a spotlight on our outdated digital infrastructure. Our aim is to make rural Essex and the wider region digital flagbearers by meeting today’s demands of fast, uninterrupted connections whilst at the same time ensuring all rural and hard-to-reach premises are future-ready to cope with ever increasing data requirements.”

Lloyd Felton, CEO, County Broadband