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Full fibre broadband set to be rolled out to more homes across East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 09:27 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:00 30 July 2020

Openreach engineers working on the full fibre network  Picture: OPENREACH

Openreach engineers working on the full fibre network Picture: OPENREACH

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Parts of Norfolk and Suffolk are included in plans to bring full fibre broadband to “hard to reach” homes.

An Openreach engineer working on the full fibre broadband network  Picture: MONTY RAKUSENAn Openreach engineer working on the full fibre broadband network Picture: MONTY RAKUSEN

BT Group broadband infrastructure network arm Openreach says new locations including Caister-on-Sea, Kings Lynn and Hunstanton in Norfolk, and Haverhill in Suffolk will be upgraded without taxpayer subsidy.

Work is expected to get under way in many of the announced locations within the next 12 to 18 months, said Openreach. However, some will have to wait until 2024 before full fibre becomes a reality.

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The new East Anglia locations are in addition to 22 places across Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire announced in January. All are part of a wider programme to bring full fibre to a further 3.2m premises in the UK’s hardest to reach “final third” as part of a £12bn investment.

Openreach director Laura Whelan said: “I’d encourage everyone to check if they can switch to the new technology, and if you can, get in touch with your broadband provider to find out more about the many benefits.

Laura Whelan, Openreach’s partnership director in the East of England  Picture: OPENREACHLaura Whelan, Openreach’s partnership director in the East of England Picture: OPENREACH

“Full fibre is more reliable and more resilient meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds.”

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A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) commissioned by Openreach last year showed that connecting everyone in the East of England to full fibre broadband by 2025 would create a £5.4bn boost to the region’s economy.

The report also revealed that 45,000 people in the region could be brought back into the workforce through better connectivity.

Openreach chief executive Clive Selley, said: “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.”

Openreach has so far brought full fibre technology to more than three million premises across the UK.


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