Full fibre on the horizon for 100,000 East of England homes

More than 108,000 more homes and businesses across the East of England are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to a £32m[1] investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

When work is finished, people living and working in more than a dozen communities across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to full fibre broadband, with the new network being built to the majority of premises in locations such as: Dunstable (Bedfordshire), St Ives (Cambridgeshire), further parts of Norwich and North Walsham (Norfolk) as well as Newmarket (Suffolk).

This is a further boost for the East of England as it follows several key announcements last year outlining plans that more than 900,000 homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including 350,000 in rural and harder to serve areas.

Kieran Wines, Openreach’s regional director for the East, 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 Europe.

“In 2021 our engineers built around 770 metres of new broadband cables every minute – making Ultrafast broadband available to another home every 13 seconds. We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre technology including more than 500,000 premises across the East of England, 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 135,000 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 365,000 could be benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in the world and 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 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 3,300 people across the East of England region, 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 £300 per premises