Major broadband rollout for Derbyshire to benefit over 17,000 rural homes and businesses

Tens of thousands of people in rural Derbyshire in the United Kingdom will enjoy access to next generation gigabit broadband after a major contract was signed to upgrade the county’s network as part of Project Gigabit – the government’s £5 billion mission to upgrade digital connectivity in hard-to-reach areas.

Over 17,000 homes and businesses across rural Derbyshire will be connected to the fastest broadband speeds on the market. The county has already benefited from a rapid rollout of modern connectivity infrastructure, with 70% of premises now having access to gigabit-capable broadband compared to just 4% in January 2019. The gigabit-capable network will enable households to download a high-definition film in under 1 minute, stream entertainment and shop online at the same time without battling over bandwidth. The high speed connectivity will also help boost online efficiency and productivity for businesses and pave the way for revolutionary new technologies and opportunities.

Backed by over £33 million in government investment, network operator Connect Fibre will be rolling out full fibre broadband to those currently struggling with slow speeds, in places such as Eckington, Hulland Ward and Shirley. Detailed planning in Derbyshire is set to get underway, with spades in the ground by mid next year, and the first premises expected to be connected in 2025.

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said:

Thousands of homes and businesses in rural Derbyshire, from Eckington to Hulland Ward are set to experience lightning-fast broadband – fit for the future.

Through our flagship Project Gigabit programme, we’re investing billions to make sure hard-to-reach communities like these get access to the transformative gigabit connectivity they deserve.

Local people will further benefit from Connect Fibre’s commitment to develop community initiatives in Derbyshire including free gigabit connections for community learning and library sites, as well as offering support for local businesses to ensure they’re maximising the transformative potential of high-speed connectivity.

Connect Fibre CEO, Stefan Stanislawski, said:

Connect Fibre is thrilled to be awarded the Project Gigabit contract to bring full fibre broadband to hard-to-reach parts of Derbyshire. We’re big believers in the transformative power of reliable broadband and are honoured to be delivering to homes and businesses that need it most.

Our commitment to connecting rural communities doesn’t stop at providing broadband, but extends into empowering homes and businesses with everything they need to thrive in today’s digital world. We are excited to get started on this journey and to see the life-changing impact it will have on Derbyshire residents.

Councillor Carolyn Renwick, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment, said:

It’s great news that more than 17,000 Derbyshire homes and businesses will benefit from this latest roll-out of next generation broadband through Project Gigabit.

Faster broadband improves everyone’s day-to-day living, enabling people to access health, education, banking and leisure services and more. It’s also critical for business operations, growth and increased productivity.

This £33m investment by Government will increase speed and reliability in the network for these communities which is critical to levelling up these hard-to-reach communities, particularly in rural areas of our county, where commercial funding alone is insufficient to secure the money necessary to make this build happen.

This news comes just weeks after Connect Fibre was awarded a £16.5 million Project Gigabit contract, to connect up to 6,000 rural homes and businesses in North East Staffordshire as the government’s Project Gigabit roll out gathers pace.


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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