Lewes to benefit from £4m broadband investment

• Openreach engineers meet with MP Maria Lewes following announcement of broadband upgrades for 6.2 million premises in the toughest third of the UK , including 27 exchanges in East Sussex




Maria Caulfield meets Openreach engineers in Lewes

MP Maria Caulfield met engineers working in Lewes to learn about the new infrastructure being built by Openreach to deliver ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses. The work is part of the company’s £15 billion investment in upgrading the UK’s largest broadband network.

She was given a socially distanced tour of the work, which involves engineers overlaying copper cables with fibre optic cables which run directly from the Openreach exchange in Lewes into homes and businesses throughout the town. Superfast broadband (speeds of up to 30 mbps) is now available in 97% of homes and businesses across East Sussex, but the new fibre optic cables will bring greater reliability, faster speeds and will future proof the network for decades to come.

Kieran Wines, Openreach’s Regional Partnership Director for the South East, said: “Nobody in the UK is building Full Fibre broadband faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities – in rural, urban and coastal areas - than ever and our team of highly skilled engineers and build partners are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“We’re proud to be upgrading so many homes and businesses in Lewes and across East Sussex; we’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website, openreach.com 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.”

Maria Caulfield meets Openreach engineers in Lewes

Maria Caulfield said, “The past 16 months have shown us how essential good connectivity is for our working and home lives. Reliable broadband is more vital now than it has ever been. Full Fibre not only gives better speeds but is more resilient in bad weather, vital for a rural community. It is good to see this work progressing and to hear of Openreach’s long term commitment to investment via their support to train the next generation of engineers”.

Openreach has made Full Fibre technology available to more than 5 million homes and businesses across the UK so far, including a number of “harder to reach” locations in East Sussex including:

  1. Baldslow
  2. Barcombe
  3. Battle
  4. Buxted
  5. Castleham
  6. Cooden
  7. Guestling
  8. Hastings
  9. Heathfield
  10. Herstmonceux
  11. Horam Road
  12. Hurst Green
  13. Iden
  14. Mayfield
  15. Newhaven
  16. Newick
  17. Northiam
  18. Peasmarsh
  19. Pevensey
  20. Ringmer
  21. Robertsbridge
  22. Rotherfield
  23. Rye
  24. Sedlescombe
  25. Ticehurst
  26. Wadhurst
  27. Wivelsfield Green
Maria Caulfield meets Openreach engineers in Lewes

With download speeds of 1 Gbps, ultrafast Full Fibre 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.

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 deployment 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.

The company plays an important role across the South East region with more than 4,800 employees living and working 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. Openreach has also invested heavily in training in recent years, with one of its dedicated training centres situated in nearby Crawley.

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.