Broadband Boost for Cambridge and Peterborough as Openreach Invests £30m

More than 100,000 more homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to a £30m[1] investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen.

When this new engineering work is finished, the majority of people living and working in Cambridge, Peterborough (home to one of Openreach’s flagship training schools) and 14 other locations (full list below) will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to full fibre broadband.

This is a further boost for the East of England where more than 600,000 homes and businesses – including places such as Ely - can already access full fibre on the Openreach network with tens of thousands more announced in future plans.

It builds on work that’s already taken place in recent years between Openreach and the Connecting Cambridgeshire broadband programme, which is hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council and led by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.

 Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for Cambridgeshire, 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 more than 7 million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre technology including more than 45,000 in Cambridgeshire 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 East of England, more than 150,000 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 450,000 could be benefiting from faster, more reliable broadband but have yet to upgrade.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: “We very much welcome this announcement which will bring better connectivity to many more homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This supports our aims and builds on the work of our Connecting Cambridgeshire programme to extend and expand digital connectivity across the county, which is essential for so many aspects of 21st century living and underpins the local economy”

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the East of England to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £5.4 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 employs more than 3,500 people across the East of England and in February announced plans to recruit a create and fill a further 400 jobs – including around 300 apprenticeships.

Around 13,000 of Openreach’s engineers carry out training at Openreach’s flagship training centre in Peterborough each year – including most engineers in the area. The centre includes 15 classrooms, pole training fields and a mock residential street where trainees can learn their skills in a safe and controlled environment.

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 £300 per premises


The locations being announced across Cambridgeshire are:


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