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Norfolk County Council satellite enabled rural connectivity project wins Access Innovation Award

Norfolk County Council, 21 September 2023 00:00

Norfolk County Council has won The Access Innovation Award at last night's Connected Britain award ceremony, for its work to connect remote and hard to reach villages to deliver superfast broadband.

The project uses Starlink satellite-based services to bring high speed broadband to some of the hardest to reach communities in Norfolk. The project is being trialled in ten village halls, with connectivity provided to the village through this connection.

The innovative solution implements a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) solution, and then Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to provide broadband to nearby homes. With 97% of the county now receiving superfast broadband the project reaches the final areas of the county where prohibitive cost had previously been a barrier to connection.

This award marks the Council's third win in four years at these prestigious and highly contested national awards, previously being named digital council of the year.

Cllr Jane James, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Innovation, said "This award recognises the talents of our team at Norfolk County Council in their innovative approaches to improve digital connectivity for our residents. I'm proud to be part of a team that continues to challenge and revolutionise how we deliver better connectivity for the people of Norfolk."

This award success builds on the work undertaken by NCC since 2012. As a rural county, Norfolk has historically suffered from poor digital connectivity. Using inward investment, Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) was launched in 2012, followed by Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) in 2019, and these key programmes have helped raise superfast coverage, in a challenging rural environment, from 42% in 2012 to over 97% today.

Norfolk County Council remains at the forefront of improving digital connectivity for our residents. The recently awarded Project Gigabit contract will look to address the digital connectivity inequality that Norfolk has suffered even further, with an estimated 62,000 premises planned to be upgraded to Gigabit capable broadband.

This latest LEO/FWA project supplements the excellent work already achieved by now using innovative technologies, such as Starlink Satellite, to deliver fast broadband coverage to very hard to reach rural communities.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:46

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