With a massive investment of £15 billion
We're building the ultimate Full Fibre future for the UK, and we’ve made great progress
Streaming music with Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband
My name is Cenzo Townshend, we're at Decoy Studios in Suffolk. The business has been here for about ten years. I grew up in Suffolk, so as soon as I could get out of London, I moved back here and we found this spot, which is a beautiful spot outside Woodbridge.
So, we moved here around 2010. Set the studio up, I'm a mixer so I can mix anywhere as long as I have the correct connectivity and speed to be able to receive files. The challenge that we faced when we first came here was the internet connection speed was pretty low. And within a few years of us being here, it actually became a lot slower. We have to download typically 30 to 40 gigabytes at a time and we upload double that sometimes.
So, it was causing a big problem for our business, and we were in the middle of trying to finish a very important album and files were being bounced around between here and Los Angeles and London and we got to the point where we couldn't upload any more.
So, when our connection speed was at its lowest, we were having to sit, take a laptop and a hard drive and sit outside buildings that we knew the password for that belonged to friends of mine businesses and whatever, and literally sit there in the middle of the night uploading from the car. We have permission to do that, so it wasn't shady or anything. The odd time some of my assistants would have to go into Woodbridge to sit in the coffee shop and upload the odd file. So whatever way worked, we just had to make it work somehow.
Luckily my request was escalated, and we were able to get a much faster fibre connection very quickly. Within one weekend, by Monday morning, we were up and running and we had 300 megabytes (Mb) from going from literally the day before that we were 8 megabytes (Mb). So, the band, the artists I was here with at the time, were immensely impressed and were able to continue because we had got to the point where they were seriously considering having to move.
I suppose the other thing that is an enormous help is knowing that going forward we have the bandwidth to be able to cope with whatever is thrown at us in terms of being able to move files. Already in the last year surround sound has hit and we have to deliver music in Atmos mixes for Apple, which is basically a surround format and therefore the file sizes are much bigger.
So, you can see that the demand for bigger bandwidth will always be increasing for our business. And I feel now having Full Fibre direct to the premises secures us for the future.
Turning 29,000 commercial vehicles electric
At Openreach, we have the second largest commercial fleet in the UK, and we firmly believe that converting to EV is the right thing to do. We have a net zero target of 2030.
We're definitely facing challenges already on our 2030 targets. We have 29,000 vehicles; we've managed to secure a thousand vehicles and deploy a thousand EVs now. But there are challenges with supply. There are just not enough vehicles available and a lot of competition for those vehicles. There are challenges with affordability. So having real confidence in the grants that are available so that we can all convert this together would be really helpful.
With 40% of the workforce living in flats or not having off-road parking, having street infrastructure charging points is also one of the big challenges we're facing. We are installing charging points at some of our locations. So whether we've got training centres or exchange buildings and much bigger than that, we are installing charging points at engineers' homes.
What excites me about the future of EVs is that the technology is improving all the time, so the range is getting better, the infrastructure is getting better. When we look into the future, you see a cleaner, greener UK because zero emissions, it's a no-brainer. If we are to achieve a full transition to electric vehicles by 2030, there are some big challenges.
We need more support financially. So there needs to be that Government backing in subsidies and grants that makes the business case viable. We need more support in the supply chain, better availability of vehicles and everything that goes with that and mechanics and retooling a plant. And finally, there needs to be a better charging infrastructure so that everyone has confidence that if they do switch to an EV, that they can still do their day jobs without losing any functionality or any time. There's no risk with that transition.