Futureproof broadband coming to 36 new locations including Torquay
Openreach, the UK’s digital infrastructure company, today announced Torquay as one of the 36 new locations where it will be building its new, future-proof Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology over the next 12 months.
Work will begin in towns and cities across the country including Newcastle, Doncaster, Chelmsford and St Albans over the coming months, whilst four new locations in Scotland (Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire and Bathgate, Broxburn and Whitburn in West Lothian) have been prioritised following the Scottish Government’s decision to extend rates relief on new fibre broadband networks.
Overall, 74 locations across the UK have now been included in Openreach’s multi-billion pound Fibre First programme.
Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said:
“We’re pressing ahead with our investment and Openreach engineers are now building in communities all over the country, keeping us on track to deliver against the bigger ambitions we set out in May.
“The Government wants to see a nationwide full fibre network and we’re keen to lead the way in helping them achieve that. We know that if it’s going to happen, Openreach will need to be at the front doing the heavy lifting, so we’re working hard to build a commercially viable plan.
“One headwind to investment which affects all full fibre builders is business rates, and we’ve been encouraged by the Scottish Government’s move to extend rates relief north of the border. I’m convinced that prioritising investment in faster, more reliable and future proof broadband networks will prove to be a no-regrets decision for future generations.”
Kevin Foster, Member of Parliament for Torbay, welcomed the news:
“When first elected, my plan included making our Bay the “Silicon Bay”. It is therefore great to hear that Openreach will soon be starting work in our Bay to connect residents and businesses to their full fibre network.
“Ultrafast and reliable broadband services are a vital part of infrastructure for future economic growth and public service delivery. Our Bay cannot afford to be left in the digital slow lane, hence this investment is so vital and very welcome”.
Openreach recently raised its target for full fibre connections from three to four million premises by March 2021, with an ambition to reach 15 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s if the right investment conditions are in place.
The business doubled its FTTP footprint last year and continues to ramp up the build – making the technology available to more than 20,000 new homes and businesses every week across the UK.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the UK now have access to faster, more reliable and future-proof, full fibre broadband services over the Openreach network.
Since the launch of Openreach’s Fibre First build programme in February last year, its engineers have deployed around 2.6 million kilometres of fibre – enough to travel to the moon and back three times.
Last year the company hired 3,500 trainee engineers, at a time when many other organisations were cutting, and it has already recruited 2,600 (90 per cent) out of 3,000 trainee engineer hires announced in January for this year. Openreach already employs over 3,300 people in the South West and local recruits will be trained at Openreach’s purpose-built training school in Exeter.
The new locations have been published on Openreach’s website alongside a raft of information about its ‘Fibre First’ build programme. This short video explains what full fibre technology is. Find out more about our Fibre First programme here. People interested in upgrading their broadband can see what’s available in their area by entering their postcode into Openreach’s online fibre checker.
Openreach has committed to publishing information on its website detailing its build plans for the next 12 months – including the total number of exchange areas to be reached in each location over the next 24 months. It will also publish details of the specific exchanges where FTTP is currently being built, has already been built, or it intends to start building within the next three months. The company will update this information every three months