News - 02 June 2021

Full Fibre upgrade for thousands across East Midlands

Openreach has announced plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to at least three million more homes and businesses – including around 275,000 in the East Midlands – in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities. This project means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade their services.

A total of 105 exchanges across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland are being upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses covered by those exchanges set to benefit from what will be a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering.

The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country.

The plans will also support the creation of around 140 new jobs in the East Midlands.

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for the East Midlands, said: “Building a new Ultrafast broadband network across the East Midlands is a massive challenge and some parts of the region will inevitably require public funding. But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other network builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.

“This is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits. We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more jobs in the region, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers as engineers.”

Related projects

Full Fibre broadband

With download speeds of 1 Gbps, Full Fibre is up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection which achieves faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming – on multiple devices without experiencing slowdown, even in peak times.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the East Midlands to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £3.5 billion boost to the local economy.

This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about Openreach’s Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.

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