South,
28
May
2021
|
01:15
Europe/Amsterdam

Hundreds of thousands in the South East to get Full Fibre boost from Openreach

Upgrades for three million more premises in the toughest third of the UK , supporting UK Government target of making gigabit-capable broadband available to 85% of country by 2025 Includes 360,000 homes and businesses in the South East

Openreach engineer - installation

Openreach today outlined plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to at least three million more homes and businesses – including 360,000 in the South East - in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities[1].  It means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.

A total of 134 exchanges across the region are being upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses in places such as Hungerford, Great Missenden, Newhaven, Twyford, Allhallows, Thame, Godstone and Midhurst[i] are set to benefit from what will be a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering. *Full list of locations below*

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.

The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December 2020 – of which around 341 were in the South East. This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.

Kieran Wines, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South East, said: “Building a new ultrafast broadband network across the South East is a massive challenge and some parts of the region will inevitably require public funding. But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other network builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.

“This is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project – second only to HS2 in terms of investment. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits. We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more jobs in the region, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers as engineers.

“We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can also check what’s already available on our website - tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the South East can already access Full Fibre.”

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 4.7 million homes and business so far.

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. Surf, shop, game, play, click, teach, talk, work, create, learn, buy, sell, watch and do business without skipping a beat or slowing down.

The company’s Chief Engineer unit is using a range of innovations and techniques to deliver world class build costs, whilst a major investment in 11 new regional training centres - including one in Southampton and another in Crawley - is helping to equip and skill thousands of new engineers.

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.

 

Summary of today’s additional build figures in the South East:

  

Number of premises

Exchanges

South East

Berkshire

4,000

2

 

Buckinghamshire

More than 30,000

11

 

East Sussex

More than 90,000

27

 

Hampshire & IoW

More than 60,000

22

 

Kent

More than 50,000

26

 

Oxfordshire

More than 30,000

9

 

Surrey

25,000

13

 

West Sussex

55,000

24

 

TOTAL:

360,000

134

List of exchange locations in the South East

Berkshire

Hungerford

Mortimer

 

(2 exchanges)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buckinghamshire

Aston Clinton

Great Missenden

Princes Risborough

(11 exchanges)

Beaconsfield

Haddenham

Radnage

 

Buckingham

Hanslope

Stoke Mandeville

 

Cheddington

Holmer Green

 

 

 

 

 

East Sussex

Baldslow

Herstmonceux

Pevensey

(27 exchanges)

Barcombe

Horam Road

Ringmer

 

Battle

Hurst Green

Robertsbridge

 

Buxted

Iden

Rotherfield

 

Castleham

Mayfield

Rye

 

Cooden

Newhaven

Sedlescombe

 

Guestling

Newick

Ticehurst

 

Hastings

Northiam

Wadhurst

 

Heathfield

Peasmarsh

Wivelsfield Green

 

 

 

 

Hampshire

Alresford

Hook

Ringwood

(22 exchanges)

Bassett

Liphook

Rowlands Castle

 

Bishops Waltham

Lymington

Turgis Green

 

Bransgore

Lyndhurst

Twyford

 

Dummer

Medstead

Wallop

 

Fawley

Milford On Sea

Whitchurch

 

Fordingbridge

Odiham

 

 

Hartley Wintney

Overton

 

 

 

 

 

Kent

Allhallows

Langton

Sevington

(26 exchanges)

Ash

Lenham

Shepherdswell

 

Boughton

Leysdown

St Margarets Bay

 

Chestfield

Loose

Sturry

 

Cliffe

Lyminge

Teynham

 

Eastchurch

Minster Thanet

Westerham

 

Fairseat

Newington

Wingham

 

Hawkinge

Nonington

Wye

 

High Halden

Otford

 

 

 

 

 

Oxfordshire

Adderbury

Chipping Norton

Thame

(9 exchanges)

Bicester

Kidmore End

Upper Heyford

 

Bloxham

Kingston Blount

Woodstock

 

 

 

 

Surrey

Bramley

Godstone

South Godstone

(13 exchanges)

Chobham

Hindhead

Woldingham

 

Clandon

Nutfield Ridge

Wormley

 

Cranleigh

Runfold

 

 

Frensham

Smallfield

 

 

 

 

 

West Sussex

Ardingly

Faygate

Pulborough

(24 exchanges)

Arundel

Hassocks

Rudgwick

 

Ashington

Henfield

Scaynes Hill

 

Balcombe

Hurstpierpoint

Selsey

 

Bosham

Lindfield

Southwater

 

Bracklesham Bay

Midhurst

Storrington

 

Copthorne

Partridge Green

West Chiltington

 

Eastergate

Petworth

Yapton

Full Fibre Facts

  • £15bn – total investment in Openreach’s Full Fibre build programme
  • 25m – premises Openreach expects to build to by December 2026, of which:
  • 4m – premises Openreach will build to each year at its peak
  • 2m – premises Openreach built to during FY 20/21 (up from 1m in 19/20).
  • 1m – customer connections live already
  • Up to 7,000 - new trainee engineering jobs to be created within Openreach and partners in the supply chain as a result of increasing build from 20 to 25m by December 2026
  • 9,000 apprenticeship roles created and filled by Openreach since 2017/18

 

[i] The vast majority of these locations fall within the ‘final third’ or ‘Geographic Area 3’, which is defined by Ofcom as 9.5 million premises in the least commercially viable areas of the UK for competitive broadband infrastructure upgrades.

[ii] Build costs fall within BT Group’s publicly stated range of £300-400 per premises passed, on average and excluding connection costs. All locations upgrades are subject to a detailed survey.