Thousands of tenants and leaseholders in Croydon Council blocks will be able to receive full-fibre internet access direct to their home following an agreement with two providers.
The council has signed an agreement to enable Community Fibre to start work in the coming weeks on providing full-fibre broadband to 11,000 council properties across the borough. Another agreement has been signed with Openreach, whose coverage covers social and private residences in Thornton Heath, with plans being discussed to extend coverage.
The installation comes at no cost to the council or residents, with residents only paying if they decide to sign up for the faster broadband. Once it is installed, residents who decide to sign up for the faster broadband will be able to choose between different price packages depending on the relevant provider’s offer.
Under the agreement with the council, free wi-fi will also be provided by Community Fibre in communal areas of sheltered housing and council-owned community buildings as part of the agreement. Apprenticeships and job opportunities for Croydon residents are also being discussed and encouraged to be part of the council’s 100 apprenticeships in 100 days campaign.
As the network infrastructure improves across the borough, businesses and those living in private properties will also be able to benefit and have the ability to sign up and access the faster internet speeds.
At the moment most properties only have copper cables from the cabinet in the street to the building, which limits internet speeds. Within the new agreement, fibre cables will be installed to the customer’s router.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “These agreements will ensure our council tenants and leaseholders have the option to get a high-speed internet service, which will reduce digital exclusion in the borough.
“As the world becomes increasingly digital-focussed, this move means our council tenants, and those living privately, will now be able to access the web and many services even more easily.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “This agreement will also benefit our businesses as they will be able to access faster internet speeds as we continue to support entrepreneurs across the borough.”
Both Community Fibre and Openreach will inform residents when they will be doing the works in their area, and will make sure all residents are aware once the upgrade is completed so people are able to contact their service provider to get ultrafast speeds.