Wiltshire town promised better broadband

By Barrie Hudson - 29 July 2020


A Wiltshire community is among 33 in the South West promised new ultra-reliable broadband by Openreach.

  • Openreach says better broadband means environmental, economic and social benefits

    Openreach says better broadband means environmental, economic and social benefits

Today - July 29 - the firm announced the latest stage of its £12bn plan to bring Full Fibre infrastructure to 20m premises throughout the UK by the middle of the decade.

This, it says, will deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for rural and urban communities - assuming the right regulatory and political fibre-enablers are in place.

Chippenham is among the locations named in the announcement, alongside other communities including Stroud, Yeovil, Bridgwater and Bideford.

Swindon is already what Openreach terms a Fibre City.

Connie Dixon, the firm's Partnership Director for the South West, said: “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.”

Openreach CEO 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 the 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 the 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.”

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’.

A report commissioned by Openreach last year found that connecting everyone in the South West to Full Fibre broadband by 2025 would create a £4.3 billion boost to the region’s economy.

It also found that more than 42,000 people across the South West could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity. 

A full list of market towns and villages included in the announcement can be found at https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/

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