£13.5m Broadband Boost for the Isle of Wight

Around 45,000 more homes and businesses across the Isle of Wight are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to an estimated £13.5m[1] investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen.

When work is finished, the majority of people living and working in nine new locations including Ventnor, Ryde, Sandown, Freshwater, Newport, Shanklin, Bembridge, Wootton Bridge and Niton will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to Full Fibre broadband on the Openreach network.  This adds to the work already done by the firm in Cowes, where nearly fifty per cent of homes and businesses can already upgrade.

This is a further boost for the region where more than 800,000 homes and businesses can now access Full Fibre on the Openreach network with tens of thousands more to be built in the region before 2026.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s regional director for the South East, said: “Nobody in the UK is building Full Fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re passing more than 50,000 new homes and businesses every week and installing around 800 metres of cable every minute, with our teams of highly skilled engineers working alongside our build partners to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“We’ve already reached eight million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast Full Fibre technology including more than more than 800,000 across the region, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it.”

Full Fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network, providing more predictable, consistent speeds.

Across the region, more than 230,000 homes and businesses have already ordered a Full Fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network. But this means another 570,000 could be benefiting from faster, more reliable broadband but have yet to upgrade.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South East to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £8.7 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have been working hard to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK and the company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025. The company will invest billions of pounds to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

Openreach already employs 50 people on the Island; five specialist engineers from our Chief Engineer’s team will be supervising the build in addition to further support from engineering partners and a dedicated civil engineering team based at Ryde.

You can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.

 [1] Investment figure based on an average build cost of approximately £300 per premise