Openreach has announced that Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge are to get new ultrafast Internet connections over the next three years.
Openreach says it is planning to further extend its ‘full’ fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network outside of cities and into more towns and villages across the South West.
Openreach has this week published an extended list of 251 locations in what it calls the “final third” – the final 30% of the hardest-to-reach UK premises – where it will roll out the new FTTP network over the next 3 years. Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge are on the list.
The firm says work is expected to get under way in many of the announced locations within the next 12-18 months although, due to the size of the build, some places will see work continue into 2024.
The new South West locations are part of a wider announcement to make the new technology available to a further 3.2 million premises in the UK’s hardest to reach ‘final third’.
Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Partnership Director for the South West, says: “We’ve already upgraded tens of thousands of homes and business across the South West to Full Fibre. As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our engineers have, safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.”
“Many South West households and businesses can already switch to the new technology and hundreds of thousands more will be following in the months and years ahead. People can check online and ask their broadband providers to find out more about the many benefits. Full Fibre is more reliable and more resilient – meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds. It’s also future-proof to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies.”
Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, adds: “This year we’ve all seen the importance of having a decent broadband connection and at Openreach, we’re convinced that Full Fibre technology can underpin the UK’s economic recovery.”
“Right now, we’re building a new, ultra-reliable full-fibre network that will boost productivity, cut commuting and carbon emissions, and connect our families, public services and businesses for decades to come. It’s Ofcom’s proposals that give us the right conditions to build commercially in hardest to reach areas.”
“We’re determined to find inventive engineering solutions and effective partnership funding models to reduce costs and enable us to connect as many communities as possible across the UK without public subsidy.”
“Openreach is leading the charge to help Government achieve its target of making gigabit capable networks available nationwide by 2025. And we hope that by publishing our own plans, we can help ensure that taxpayers only fund connections in communities that really need public support.”
A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research commissioned by Openreach in 2019 revealed that connecting everyone in the South West of England to ‘full fibre’ broadband by 2025 would create a £4.3 billion boost to the region’s economy. The report also revealed that 42,000 people in the region could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity.
To view the full list of market towns and villages included in the announcement, visit https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/.