Rural Leeds business community dig their way to ultra-fast internet with Diva Telecom

A number of small businesses and farms based in Eltofts, a rural area of North Leeds, enlisted the help of a local B2B telecoms provider to build their own private Gigabit Fibre network as they were suffering from staggeringly slow connections.

Frustrated by the lack of options available from leading service providers to deliver fast, reliable broadband to the area, the businesses in Eltofts agreed to work together to install their own private Gigabit City Leeds connection. After just four short months, their ultrafast pure fibre connection went live.

It rapidly became clear, after a number of options were explored, that most service providers’ solutions still involved delivering the connection over old copper lines, which had caused years of problems for the professionals in the area – engineers were even visiting the area as often as once a fortnight to repair faults.

B2B telecoms provider, Diva Telecom was approached, with the enquiry about securing their own private Gigabit Fibre connection. After a consultation, Diva Telecom were able to provide a gigabit speed connection over a 24km length of fibre to Wetherby Road in Eltofts and from there residents dug their own trenches so that the fibre could be laid directly to their home offices.

Eltofts now has the fastest rural broadband in the world, joint with a larger project in Lancashire operated by not-for-profit organisation B4RN, and benefit from upload and download speeds of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps).

Andy Wright, owner of Bardsey Computers in Eltofts, said:

“For years Eltofts has suffered from slow internet speeds and sub-par services, in some cases spending over £80 per household for dual lines to achieve a mere 6Mbps download speed. As a community we agreed that action had to be taken which is how we came to explore the option of a private fibre optic leased line.”

“Diva Telecom provided us with the ability to take control of our own connection and install a network at much lower cost that provides an upload speed up to 3,000 times faster than our previous connections; it’s been an amazing improvement and has made a huge impact on all our lives. A fast and reliable connection is now a necessity for businesses and like many rural communities, we were being left in the dark ages.”

Twelve premises have now been connected to the Gigabit Fibre network in Eltofts; Professor Simon Kay, a renowned plastic surgeon who performed the first double hand transplant in the UK earlier this year, is one of the residents benefitting from the Gigabit City Leeds connection.

Professor Simon Kay, commented:

“We have always battled with a painfully poor connection, despite an extremely expensive dual line setup, making it difficult to update your phone let alone being able to work from home or run a business from home. This new connection has dramatically improved our digital quality of life in Eltofts and allows us finally to take advantage of the technology and digital advancements that have become the norm. One of the most significant improvements for myself is that I’m now able to do multi-participant HD video conferencing with other surgeons around the world from my office at home, something that was never possible before.”

London based infrastructure provider CityFibre are responsible for the roll out of the Gigabit Fibre network and launched Leeds as a Gigabit City in partnership with Diva Telecom in 2016.

Erica Lewis, Managing Director at Diva Telecom commented:

“When we were approached by the businesses in Eltofts, we were struck by how dire their situation was and were keen to get involved and support their project. As the premier service provider for the roll out of CityFibre’s Gigabit City Leeds 100% pure fibre network, we knew we already had the perfect solution, it was just a case of working together to plan a proper implementation strategy.”

“This type of project has only been done on a number of occasions in the UK, but with our digital dependencies increasing every year, we anticipate that more and more rural business communities will be looking for alternative solutions for reliable broadband.”

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