£360m North West Boost for Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband

Around 900,000 more North West homes and businesses are set to benefit from a broadband boost in the region of £360m[1] thanks to Openreach – the UK’s largest broadband network provider.

People living and working in parts of Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, are all set to benefit from the company’s national upgrade plan, with the majority of premises in each area gaining access to the latest Ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband. Locations include Aintree, Blackpool, Hale, Hyde, Kirkham, Rochdale and Wigan.

Work will take place between now and 2026, and more details of the full list of locations and timescales are published on Openreach’s website .

The news comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement last month, when 230,000 premises – in 50 mainly rural and harder to serve areas across the North West - were also included in the build plan.

Both announcements build on Openreach’s existing work in the North West, where around 640,000 homes and businesses can already order ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.

Following a competitive tender process, MJ Quinn and Morrison Telecom Services, were chosen by Openreach to support the upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional director for the North, said: “Nobody in the UK is building full fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“Just last month we announced 50 rural and hard to reach locations across the North West were to benefit, so it’s great that we’re able to reveal another huge broadband boost for the region with these additional locations.

“The latest details and timescales will be available on our website as the build planning progresses.”

Alan O’Prey, managing director of MJ Quinn, said: "In the last 18 months we have all come to appreciate how vital a strong and reliable internet connection is, both in our professional and personal lives. MJ Quinn are extremely proud to be working in partnership with Openreach to build ultrafast and ultra-reliable fibre networks of the future.

“We are particularly proud to be delivering so close to home, the North West and North Wales region, an area in which MJ Quinn have had a strong presence for over 30 years. Through our work we will support generations of people to gain access to technologies that will enhance their lives and leave a legacy for many years to come."

Pat Carolan, managing director of Morrison Telecom Services, said: “The last eighteen months have highlighted the importance of keeping people connected and we recognise that we have a pivotal role to play in helping Openreach to deliver full fibre broadband to this region.

We look forward to supporting Openreach’s commitment to delivering ultrafast connectivity to homes and businesses in the local community and the many employment, social, economic and environmental benefits that this will bring. Our role is to ensure that the new network is built efficiently, safely and without any compromise on quality.”

The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country by the end of 2026.

Openreach is already building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK, having made the technology available to more than 5 million homes and business so far.

Openreach plays an important role across the North West region. More than 3,500 of our people live and work here. Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the North West to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £5.5 billion boost to the local economy.

This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and 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 £400 per premises