Dover and Deal MP visits Openreach engineers

More than 75% of homes in the town can now access Full Fibre

The Rt Hon Natalie Elphicke OBE MP visited Openreach engineers in Deal to witness first-hand the  innovative engineering techniques being used to deliver ultrafast Full Fibre broadband across her constituency.

She was given a tour of the work, which has already reached more than 75% of all homes and businesses in the exchange area, as well as hundreds of thousands more in other locations across Kent.

Mrs Elphicke was joined on the visit by Councillor Chris Vinson from Dover District Council.

Deal was included in Openreach’s full fibre build in January 2020. Since then, engineers have been working there and in other nearby places including Sandwich, Margate, Herne Bay and Broadstairs, and will continue throughout 2023.

Meeting with the MP, the Openreach team was able to explain how the build in urban areas is happening alongside rural and coastal work.

Mrs Elphicke visited the local exchange to look at where the Openreach network starts. She learned more about fibreoptics and how Full Fibre is future-proofing connections for decades to come.

Natalie Elphicke MP, said: “It’s great news that three quarters of Deal now has ultrafast, Full Fibre broadband.  This broadband upgrade is providing our community with faster and more reliable internet, supporting businesses and residents across our area”.

“It was good to meet local engineers installing this new equipment in Deal – and to try my hand at splicing fibre optic cable too.  The whole Openreach team is doing a fantastic job for Deal and Walmer”.

The visit was hosted by Paul Harding, Openreach’s regional partnership manager, who said: “We welcomed the opportunity to give Mrs Elphicke a step-by-step demonstration of our technology. Our engineers work hard every day to keep communities across Kent and the wider region connected, and it was great to be able to share the challenges and realities of delivering this technology.”

Cllr Chris Vinson, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance, Digital and Climate Change, Dover District Council said, “I'm hugely supportive of the full fibre rollout in Walmer, Deal and Sandwich - and look forward to Dover being upgraded too. This investment means faster and more reliable broadband for thousands of local homes and businesses, complementing DDC's award-winning business grants scheme and our £18.1m Levelling Up Fund project to build a new education campus for the digital and creative industries."

Openreach is building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK.   With download speeds of 1 Gbps, it’s up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming.

You can also use multiple devices at once without experiencing slowdown – so more people in your household can get online at once. Even if the rest of your family are making video calls, streaming box sets or gaming online, all at the same time – you won’t experience stuttering, buffering or dropouts.

Full Fibre is also less affected by peak time congestion – so you can enjoy your Saturday night blockbuster in 4K without the dreaded buffering screen.

Openreach is working to build and connect customers to the company’s ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband network - which is on track to reach 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026.

Residents and businesses can use Openreach’s fibre checker to see what infrastructure is available at their address.  Once they’ve put their address in, they’ll be able to see a list of providers working in their area and choose the package that works for them.

Openreach plays an important role across the South East. More than 4,800 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 South East to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £8.7 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.