£86m Broadband Boost for Midlands

Date posted: January 31, 2022
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More than 290,000 more homes and businesses across the Midlands are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to a £86m investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

When work is finished, people living and working in communities across the Midlands Engine region will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to full-fibre broadband, with the new network being built to the majority of premises in locations such as: Langley Mill (Derbyshire), Coalville and Market Harborough (Leicestershire), Newark (Nottinghamshire), Longton (Staffordshire), Dunchurch (Warwickshire), Castle Bromwich (West Midlands) and Headless Cross (Worcestershire).

This is a further boost for the Midlands as it follows several key announcements last year outlining plans that more than 1.3m homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including 300,000 in rural and harder to serve areas.

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for the Midlands, said:

“Nobody in the UK is building full fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in Europe.

“In 2021 our engineers built around 770 metres of new broadband cables every minute – making Ultrafast broadband available to another home every 13 seconds. We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre technology including more than 350,000 premises across the East Midlands, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it.”

Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network, providing more predictable, consistent speeds.

Across the Midlands more than 205,000 homes and businesses have already ordered a full fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network.

But this means another 675,000 could be benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in the world and have yet to upgrade.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the Midlands to full-fibre. It is estimated this would create an £8 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have been working hard to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK and the company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025.

The company will invest billions of pounds to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

Openreach employs more than 4,300 people across the Midlands, and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.

For the latest from our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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