More Ultrafast Heading for East of England in £144m Boost
More locations to get Full Fibre, on top of 154 new rural places announced last month
Around 360,000 more East of England homes and businesses are set to benefit from a broadband boost in the region of £144m thanks to Openreach – the UK’s largest broadband network provider.
People living and working in a number of towns and villages across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are all set to benefit from the company’s national upgrade plan, with the majority of premises in each area gaining access to the latest Ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband.
Work – in places like Biggleswade, Bury St Edmunds, Gorleston, Ipswich and Leighton Buzzard, - will take place between now and 2026, with the full list of locations and timescales published on Openreach’s website.
The news comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement last month, when 380,000 premises - in 154 mainly rural and harder to serve areas across the region - were also included in Openreach’s build plan.
Both announcements build on Openreach’s existing work in the region, where more than 350,000 homes and businesses can already order ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.
Following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – John Henry Group, MAP Group and Morrison Telecom Services - were chosen by Openreach to support the upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations
Kieran Wines, Openreach’s regional director for the East of England, 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 the world.
“Just last month we announced 154 rural and hard to reach locations across the East of England were to benefit, so it’s great that we’re able to reveal another huge broadband boost for the region with these additional locations.
“The latest details and timescales are available on our website as the build planning progresses.”
Jonny Wilson, Programme Director at John Henry Group, said: “This is fantastic news for Openreach, the John Henry Group and ultimately the customer. At the John Henry Group, we are working very closely with Openreach to enable this build ambition in to a reality. Scaling this ambition will require investment in a number of key aspects, including new opportunities for an entry level demographic. The UK telecoms industry is only going to grow in the coming years, and for everyone here at the John Henry group, being part of this build commitment with Openreach is one we are thoroughly looking forward to.”
Sarb Singh, Director of Operations, MAP Group (UK) Limited, said: "MAP Group (uk) is delighted to be working alongside Openreach. We share a common goal to build the best possible network with the highest quality of service and connectivity to householders and businesses. The upgrade will vastly improve download speeds and the quality of video calls and streaming. We are proud to be associated with what is being seen as significant step on the road back to economic recovery after the Covid lockdown."
Pat Carolan, Managing Director of Morrison Telecom Services, said: “The last eighteen months have highlighted the importance of keeping people connected and we recognise that we have a pivotal role to play in helping Openreach to deliver full fibre broadband to this region. We look forward to supporting Openreach’s commitment to delivering ultrafast connectivity to homes and businesses in the local community and the many employment, social, economic and environmental benefits that this will bring. Our role is to ensure that the new network is built efficiently, safely and without any compromise on quality.”
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 by the end of 2026.
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 5 million homes and business so far.
Openreach plays an important role across the East of England region. More than 3,300 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 East of England to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £5.4 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.
 Investment figure based on an average build cost of £400 per premises