New £58m Broadband Boost for the North West
Around 196,000 more homes and businesses in the North West are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to a £58m investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen.
When work is finished, people living and working in more than 15 communities across Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, 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: Alderley Edge, Atherton, Bollington, Bolton, Burnley, Horwich, Padiham, Pendleton, Rainford and Stepping Hill.
This is a further boost for the North West as it follows several key announcements last year outlining plans that more than one million homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including tens of thousands in rural and harder to serve areas.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional director for the North, 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.
“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 815,000 in the North West 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 North West more than 163,000 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 652,000 could be benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in Europe 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 North West to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £5.5 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 nearly 4,000 people across the North West region, 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 £300 per premises