The parish of Kings Nympton now has one of the fastest internet connections in Devon.
The parish council has been leading the bid to get faster connectivity through a community fibre partnership (CFP) with Openreach.
It has been a lengthy process but the parish has become one of the first to see it through to fruition.
North Devon MP Selaine Saxby had lobbied to get things moving and joined parish councillors, county councillor Richard Edgell and Openreach engineers to splice the final fibre optic cable and bring gigabit broadband to the village.
A CFP will see Openreach work with communities to find the best way to bring fibre broadband to homes and businesses, finding a solution that best suits the situation.
It would typically fund some of the cost and the community provides the rest.
Ms Saxby said: “Kings Nympton had faced delays which is why I, having been lobbied myself, lobbied Openreach to get this upgrade done now.
“What they have created is a blueprint for what other communities can do. The process can take some time to organise, but importantly, as long as enough households in the community commit to signing up to ‘fibre to the premises’ (FTTP) and use their ‘gigabit voucher’, the whole connection does not cost a thing.
“Now, 138 properties in Kings Nympton have the fastest broadband capability and importantly nearby villages and properties can be connected faster and at less cost.”
Kings Nympton parish council chairman, Adrian Lake thanked Ms Saxby for her help when the progress had stalled with Openreach.
He said: “I was delighted with the response received from our local businesses and residents when BT Openreach confirmed we were over subscribed for the FTTP government funding scheme.
“The journey was fraught with teething problems, however the tenacity of our project leader combined with the help of Selaine Saxby MP, resulted in the appointment of a new Open Reach installation team.
“The progress made by this team was tremendous, resulting in our connectivity being achieved by the end of August 2020 only a matter of months from their initial appointment.”
The parish is an example to other areas and Openreach is already some way into connecting Lynton and Lynmouth with FTTP, but does need more residents to use their vouchers and commit to upgrading when it becomes available.
To find out more about signing up in your community, go to https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/community-fibre-partnerships .
Any parish councils that need help in setting up a community fibre partnership are invited to email email@example.com.