VILLAGERS have paid thousands of pounds of their own money to get superfast broadband.

Islip residents agreed to contribute £11,000 towards a fibre network, to boost speeds to up to 80Mb/s compared to the UK average of 9Mb/s.

Now more than half the money has been raised by villagers, BT says it will start installation work in June.

Islip Parish Council chairman Alison Mitchell said: “Due to the distance from the local exchange at Kidlington, villagers have received extremely slow broadband over the existing copper lines. High-speed broadband is of critical importance for many residents, and especially people who run businesses, or work regularly from the village, so we decided to take action.”

Not every household contributed but it is estimated that those villagers who did paid around £150 each. Some handed over as much as £500.

BT said it would foot the rest of the bill, but would not reveal how much it was for commercial reasons.

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “We’re delighted Islip’s residents took such an active approach. We would encourage other communities to talk to us about their options; we want to provide fibre speeds to as many people as possible.”

In Oxfordshire, more than 165,000 homes already have access to BT Openreach’s fibre network, across 16 exchange areas.