We’re doing everything we can to prepare for the winter weather. Here are some of the ways that you can prepare:
If your broadband or phone service is impacted by extreme weather, contact your service provider - they’ll be able to give you more information about your specific circumstance. If there’s a network issue, they’ll let us know and we’ll send a team out to repair the damage as soon as we can.
We’re well on the way to meeting our ambitious plan to build Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband to 25m homes and businesses by the end of 2026. One of the many benefits of our Full Fibre network – alongside offering broadband that’s 10x faster than the national average – is that it’s much more resistant to the effects of the severe weather.
Our Full Fibre network connects homes and businesses directly to our exchanges through fibre optic cables. Fibre cables are far more durable than copper - because they’re not made of metal and transmit data through light beams, they’re impervious to electromagnetic interference and resistant to flood damage.
Our network is used by more than 690 service providers who provide broadband, TV and telephone services to over 28 million homes and Businesses across the UK. It’s a physical infrastructure of copper and fibre cables, some of which run underground and some via telegraph poles. Extreme weather, such as storms or flooding can have a big impact – which is why we’re always working to prepare for every eventuality.
A good example of the types of challenges we can face was during the winter of 21/22 when seven consecutive named storms hit the UK in a three-month period, with Storm Eunice alone causing loss of service for over 19,000 customers. But our engineers worked heroically to restore service within days, and now we’re planning ahead to protect our most vulnerable customers and keep Britain connected.
Despite the scale of outages caused by the severe weather and storms, we are able to restore broadband and phone service within days. We can do this because of the size, skill, and experience of our engineering force. We’ve got 25,000 field engineers who work around the clock, in all weathers, across the length and breadth of the UK, to make sure that we deal with issues as quickly as possible.
Even without named storms, every year we need to replace hundreds of poles across the country because of bad weather. Last year we replaced 750 poles that were damaged by bad weather – a feat only possible because of the dedication of our engineers.
We’re the biggest network in the UK and we’re dedicated to providing the best possible service. That’s why we constantly assess our responses to damage caused by severe weather and look for ways we can improve. After February 2022, when three named storms hit in six days, we set up a new Storm Response Unit (SRU). The SRU uses the learnings from previous storm responses to develop new processes that help us respond to extreme weather events in an even quicker and safer way than before.
Some of these new initiatives include: