A partnership between residents, alternative infrastructure provider CityFibre and telecoms specialist, Diva Telecom, proves rural areas can enjoy next-generation broadband too.

Diva Telecom, the official launch partner of CityFibre’s Leeds Gigabit City network, has been shortlisted in the Connected Britain category at the prestigious NextGen Digital Challenge Awards 2017.

The company has been nominated for its part in helping rural businesses in Eltofts, north of Leeds, to safeguard their futures by securing reliable broadband services.

Last year the business community in Eltofts took matters into their own hands to tackle the painfully slow internet connectivity the village had struggled with for years as a result of its aging, capacity-constrained telecoms network.

Despite the installation of an expensive dual line setup, poor connectivity remained a critical issue for local businesses.

After hearing that Leeds had become a Gigabit City and that full-fibre digital infrastructure was being built in the city by CityFibre, Eltofts business owners approached specialist business telecoms provider, Diva Telecom, to enquire about securing their own full-fibre connection.

Diva Telecom was able to provide ultrafast gigabit speeds over a 24km length of full-fibre to Wetherby Road in Eltofts, from which residents dug the trenches required for the fibre to be laid directly to their home offices.

As a result, they now benefit from reliable internet connectivity with 1000Mgbps up and download speeds.

Erica Lewis, managing director at Diva Telecom, said: “Connectivity is no longer simply about internet access – it now underpins many businesses’ sales platforms, systems and processes too.

“That’s why we committed ourselves to helping the Eltofts community resolve their connectivity woes – as quickly as possible.

“We are proud to be in the running for this year’s Connected Britain Award and see this as an opportunity to raise awareness of full-fibre connectivity and the solution it can offer businesses throughout Leeds and beyond.”

Professor Simon Kay, a world-renowned plastic surgeon who lives in Eltofts, received a connection to Leeds Gigabit City network. He said: “One of the most significant improvements for me 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.”

Andy Wright, technical manager of the Eltofts project added: “We’ve experienced incomprehensible improvement and it 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.”

NextGen made the shortlist announcement at the Connected Britain 2017 Conference which comes shortly after Leeds celebrated its first ‘Giga-versary’ in April.

Now extending to 117Km of full-fibre infrastructure, Leeds’ Gigabit City network has transformed the city into one of the best-connected locations in the UK.

Alongside its partners, CityFibre has made world-class internet services both accessible and affordable to thousands of businesses, supporting Leeds’ growing digital industry and the benefits it brings in terms of skills, jobs and investment.

The winner of the Connected Britain Award will be announced at the NextGen Digital Challenge Awards 2017 which will take place in October in London.