New £9m broadband network reaches 30,000 in Leicestershire

Full fibre engineers now working in Coalville, Hinckley, Leicester, and Market Harborough

More than 30,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire can now order some of the fastest, most reliable broadband in Europe thanks to a £9 million investment by Openreach. But there are also concerns that thousands of residents and businesses could be missing out on reaping the benefits.  

Engineers are now starting work to build full fibre networks in Coalville, Hinckley, Leicester, and Market Harborough.

The new technology is up to ten times faster than the average UK broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the old copper-based network it’s replacing - but despite proving hugely popular in some areas where build has already taken place, thousands of residents living in parts of Leicester City Centre particularly have yet to upgrade.

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s Partnership Director for the Midlands, said: “Research shows that this new network will give businesses an edge and provide families and home-workers with future-proof connectivity, no matter what life throws at us next.

“Our investment across Leicestershire continues at pace, and we’re determined to deliver a great service which helps this community thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities.

“Gigabit-capable broadband can have a huge impact on people’s lives and it’s great for the economy, but upgrades aren’t automatic. People need to place an order with their chosen providers to get connected and we’ll do the rest. Our network offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen - which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.

“Even if you already have a decent enough service, it’s worth checking if you can upgrade, because full fibre is the future, and it provides the best broadband experience at great value for money. There’ll be no more worrying that your video call might freeze, or your files are failing to upload when everyone’s at home competing for bandwidth at the same time.” 

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in the East Midlands to Full Fibre broadband would create a £3.5 billion boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

Openreach has worked closely with Leicestershire County Council for many years, particularly as partners in the county council’s Superfast Leicestershire programme.

Leicestershire County Councillor Pam Posnett, cabinet member for Community and Staff Relations, said: This is a great boost for Leicestershire residents, helping people to work and connect with others. Leicestershire is growing, which is why we have delivered superfast speeds to more than 75,000 premises and are working with Building Digital UK to roll out Gigabit broadband, enabling families and the community to have access to fast and reliable broadband.”

Openreach has announced plans to invest in Full Fibre broadband for most premises in dozens of towns and villages across Leicestershire, including Asfordby, Bottesford, Desford, Kibworth, Lutterworth, Market Bosworth, Measham, Sapcote, and Woodhouse Eaves. It’s part of the company’s plans to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2026. This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about Openreach Fibre First build programme here.