UK digital infrastructure provider Openreach has outlined plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to 551 further towns and cities – covering some 5 million homes and businesses – as part of its £15 billion (€12.56bn) programme to reach 25 million premises all over the UK.
The company is making the new gigabit-capable technology available to 43k premises every week, and more than five million homes and businesses can now place an order.
The news comes hot on the heels of Openreach’s announcement that it will target more than six million rural and hard-to-reach homes and businesses across the UK – with these latest urban locations stretching from Bournemouth, in Dorset, Dunfermline, in Scotland, Kettering, in the East Midlands, to Sunderland in the North East, and Wrexham, in Wales.
Planning work has already started, with further details and timescales to be published every quarter on the Openreach website as work progresses and detailed surveys are completed. The build will take place between now and December 2026, with work in these latest locations starting later this year. For a full list of the new locations, go here
“Nobody’s building Full Fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach in the UK,” asserts Clive Selley, Openreach CEO. “Our engineers and build partners are working flat-out to deliver this life-changing technology to rural, urban and suburban communities all over the country and we’re delighted to be fleshing out our plans with more details about where and when we’ll be building.”
“More than a million customers are already enjoying our most revolutionary and reliable broadband ever. It’s the next generation of Internet that’s ready for anything. You can surf, shop, play, work and learn without skipping a beat – so check out our website to see when we’re coming to your street.”
Following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – including Kier, MJ Quinn and Telent were chosen by Openreach to support the upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network.
Overall, more than 2,400 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets have so-far been included in Openreach’s Fibre First programme – and the build is fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025.
Recently-updated research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) shows that a nationwide Full Fibre network could turbocharge the economic bounce back from pandemic, levelling-up rural and urban communities, deliver up to £59 billion in increased productivity every year and enable a million people to get back into employment.