Faster broadband is just what the doctor ordered

More than 30 homes in Outhill, near Studley, have seen a huge improvement to their broadband connection in recent months, due to a determined campaign led by local resident and NHS Doctor, Asad Rahim.

Frustrated with slow speeds during the pandemic when working from home was more important than ever, and with no prospect of being upgraded any time soon, Doctor Rahim rallied the community in an ambitious joint project with Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme, alongside the Connecting Solihull and Warwickshire (CSW) council broadband programme.

Working together, it quickly became clear that upgrading all 33 local households to full fibre was viable if everyone clubbed together. Once given the green light, Openreach’s specialist team of Chief Engineers quickly swung into action to connect the homes to an Ultrafast full fibre network.

Within just a few months, the team completed a comprehensive survey, arranged and set up temporary traffic lights, cut back a number of trees along the route, positioned and installed new poles, and laid many kilometres of fibre cable.

The new Ultrafast full fibre broadband service offers download speeds of 1 Gbps, which is 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.

Welcoming the arrival of full fibre, Doctor Rahim said: “Things are going really well. Ultrafast full fibre has been transformational for all of us, especially for myself and my wife. We’re both consultants in the NHS so we’re regularly joining Teams meetings and doing things like downloading medical scans. Everything now takes seconds rather than minutes, and it’s so much more reliable. It’s made a huge difference for both of us.

“From a wider perspective it has also been really positive. We used to struggle to watch things like iPlayer, typically having to download an episode overnight in preparation for the next day. Now this happens almost instantly.

“Speeds are incredibly consistent. I’ve been checking them regularly since we were connected, and they rarely drop below the maximum we can achieve. There’s minimal delay and no data loss. We couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out.”

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional partnership director, was instrumental in working with the Outhill community. He said: “We all know how essential it is for homes and businesses up and down the country to have fast, reliable broadband. From running a business, working from home to online schooling and shopping - so much is done online.

“More than 98 per cent of premises in Warwickshire can access superfast broadband and our full fibre build has already reached more than 40,000 homes and businesses. But we know there is more to do to extend this reach even further.

“There’s a small number of communities, such as this group of households in Outhill, that could miss out on good broadband connectivity as providers, for a variety of reasons, struggle to upgrade alone. To bridge this gap our Community Fibre Partnership helps bring ultrafast connections to those areas.

“By making ultrafast broadband available to the Outhill community we’re underlining our commitment to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible across the region – including the hard to reach areas.”

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

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.

More than 1,900 communities across the UK are already benefitting from Openreach’s CFP programme with more than 170,000 properties now being able to access fibre broadband as a result.