Openreach set to upgrade 14 exchanges and bring Full Fibre to a further 45,000 in Dorset

Openreach has outlined plans to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to a further 45,000 homes and businesses in Dorset.

In total at least 3m more homes and businesses – including 440,000 across the South West – will benefit in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities.

An Openreach engineer. The company has announced an extension to its biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles to be created this year.

Openreach has outlined plans to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to a further 45,000 homes and businesses in Dorset.

In total at least 3m more homes and businesses – including 440,000 across the South West – will benefit in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities.

It means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.

A total of 14 exchanges across Dorset are being upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses in places such as Bere Regis, Blandford, Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton, Swanage and Wareham set to gain from what’s described as a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering.

The company’s updated build plan is fundamental to the government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit-capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of the UK by 2025.

BT Openreach

It follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group, which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25m premises, including more than 6m in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country.

Openreach’s £15bn commercial investment in upgrading the UK to faster, more reliable, future-proof broadband has been upped from £12bn.

The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created this year on top of the jobs which were announced in December 2020 – of which around 200 were in the South West.

This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.

20.09.19 Open Reach – Connie Dixon Picture by Nick Treharne:

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South West said: “Building a new ultrafast broadband network across the South West 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 – second only to HS2 in terms of investment.

“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.

“We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses.”

BT Openreach

Openreach has already made Full Fibre available to more than 4.7m homes and business so far.

With download speeds of 1 Gbps, it’s up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection which means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming.

Other benefits include being able to use multiple devices at once without experiencing slowdown – so more people in a household can get online at once.

Even if the rest of a family are making video calls, streaming box sets or gaming online, all at the same time, Openreach say that there won’t be stuttering, buffering or dropouts.

Full Fibre is also less affected by peak time congestion.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South West to Full Fibre with an estimated £4.3bn boost to the local economy.

The 14 exchanges to be upgraded in Dorset are in Bere Regis, Bindon Abbey, Blandford, Bridport, Charmouth, Child Okeford, Lyme Regis, Martinstown, Preston, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton, Swanage, Wareham and Warmwell.

  • A short video here explains what Full Fibre technology is and more details about Openreach’s Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans can be seen here.

By: Andrew Diprose Dorset Biz News

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