Over half of residents living in rural areas within the county said they are frustrated slow broadband following survey results published yesterday.

Specialist provider County Broadband Ltd, based in East Anglia, said their recent research revealed 43% of 2,000 people questioned said they were unsure of the difference between superfast and ultrafast.

Nearly one in four (22%) weren’t even sure what speed they were contracted to receive from their provider and a further 16% struggle to connect daily.

Lloyd Felton, chief executive of County Broadband Ltd said: “Our survey reveals there is a lot of confusion with many homes and businesses signing up for ‘fibre’ thinking they are getting the fastest speeds when in fact their superfast connection relies on existing copper which significantly reduces speed and reliability.”

A further 17% mistakenly believed superfast is faster than ultrafast even though this offers speeds up to 1,000 Mbps – over ten times faster than superfast.

Under ‘Superfast Britain’, average downloads were a woeful 18.5 Mbps in 2018, behind Romania (38.6 Mbps), Madagascar (24.87 Mbps) and outside the world’s top 30.

Following the latest results, County Broadband’s announced plans to roll out a new ultrafast full fibre network in rural villages across the Colchester, Braintree, Chelmsford areas of Essex, and the wider region.

“Our new ultrafast network, which uses full fibre directly into people’s home, will provide a real boost for residents, businesses and whole communities and put them in the top 6% in the UK for digital connectivity,” Mr Felton added. “We have already started construction and we will be rolling out across Essex over the coming months.

“As we increasingly rely on the internet in our day to day lives for downloading and streaming films, on demand catch up services, calls or even working from home the slowdowns become more and more noticeable.

“Ultrafast is the only way to ensure communities have the fast, reliable broadband they need for the future.”

County Broadband has secured access to a £46million investment fund to build full fibre, ultrafast broadband networks throughout the East of England commencing in Essex.

Established in Aldham, Essex, in 2003 the company also provides a wireless internet service and currently has over 3,000 customers across East Anglia.