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Happy New Year start for Winnie the Pooh village after engineers quickly restore high speed broadband connections

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2016 11:08 GMT

More than 360,000 East Sussex households and businesses can now get fibre broadband

The East Sussex village of Hartfield, home of Winnie the Pooh books author A.A.Milne, was back online for the New Year after its high-speed fibre broadband cabinet had been destroyed in a road accident.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, quickly replaced the wrecked green cabinet, which had only recently been installed by the eSussex partnership.

Christine Tamplin, the manager at Casablanca nurseries in Hartfield, said: “When I first heard of the accident involving the green cabinet I knew it would be a blow for us in Hartfield. However, to hear that BT were able to get it up and running so quickly was great news and I know a lot of people round here had a particularly happy start to the New Year thanks to a faster more consistent internet service.”

The partnership between East Sussex County Council and BT has already made fibre available to more than 67,000 households and businesses in the county and more than 600 kilometres of fibre optic cable, which is long enough to go all the way from Hartfield to Edinburgh.

When BT’s own commercial fibre roll-out is also included it means that the high-speed technology is now available to more than 360,000 East Sussex premises.

Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for economy, added: “This is a perfect example of the unexpected challenges that the project can face during rollout.The ‘can do’ approach demonstrated by Openreach in replacing the broadband cabinet so quickly has enabled the village to benefit from the Council’s investment in broadband infrastructure and I am delighted that businesses and residents can now take advantage of better broadband in the area.”

Stacey King, BT’s regional partnership director for the South East, said: “A great deal of damage was caused to the local fibre network, but our engineers worked as fast as they could to replace the fibre broadband cabinet. It meant that local households and businesses could be on-line in time for the New Year.”