5 million rural homes get super-fast broadband over Fujitsu farmer fibre

5 million homes in rural Britain are set for next-generation super-fast broadband. Fujitsu has teamed up with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco to carry cable to the countryside.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Five million homes in rural Britain are set for super-fast broadband. Fujitsu has teamed up with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco to carry cable to the countryside in a new network that will serve areas other ISPs can't reach.

Fujitsu will build the fibre-optic broadband network, with Cisco handling the back end. Virgin Media and TalkTalk will then flog broadband to customers in rural areas, with the option open for other Internet service providers -- including local collectives such as Rutland Telecom -- to use the network too. Those involved will benefit from £530m earmarked by the government for super-fast broadband in rural areas.

Fujitsu reckons the network will send 1Gbps symmetric -- both to and from your computer -- right from the start, with the capacity to hit more than 10Gbps upload and download speeds in future. Fuji reckons the network will be "future-proofed for at least the next 20 to 30 years".

The network will run fibre-optic cabling all the way to your home (FTTH), rather than to the local street cabinet. That means you're far more likely to experience the high speeds promised in adverts, a hot topic at the moment after Ofcom criticised ISPs for promising maximum performance that bears no relation to real speeds.

Cabling will be independent of existing street cabinets, running cables along "a wide range of underground and overhead infrastructure", including phone and possibly electricity pylons. It's a completely separate network to BT Openreach's super-fast broadband, marketed as BT Infinity and also used by TalkTalk.

BT recently pointed out that some Welsh users aren't bothered about super-fast Internet. Are you stuck in the country reading this on dial-up? Or is your broadband just fine and you don't need to be patronised by poncey city folk like us? Go wild in the country and in the comments.