Openreach building ultrafast broadband in Darlington

Openreach has started work to build a new ultrafast broadband network for Darlington – giving residents and businesses access to some of the fastest, most reliable broadband anywhere in the UK.

The once-in-a-generation, Full Fibre broadband upgrade will let thousands of local people and businesses connect multiple devices at gigabit-capable speeds and help businesses to trade online and compete for decades to come.

Nearly 5,000 premises can already access the new technology and engineers will continue the build which will reach the majority of local homes and businesses over the next two years.

Full Fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands. 

Local people can visit the Openreach website for updates and, as the build progresses, check their addresses to see when services are available from their chosen provider.

Matt Davis, Regional Major Programmes Director and member of the Openreach North of England board, said: “We’re already hard at work bringing ultrafast broadband to Darlington and we want to let local people know what to expect.

“This is a major infrastructure upgrade, so there will be more engineering teams, equipment and vans around town, and we're working closely with the local authority to keep disruption to a minimum.

“Wherever possible, we’ll use our existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks, new street furniture and disturbance. But there may be places where we need to install new poles, underground ducts and fibre cables because it’s the only way to make sure households get included in the upgrade.

“We’re using the latest technology, like tiny underground cameras that inspect ducts for blockages and help us avoid digging up the streets wherever possible.” 

He added: “Darlington is part of our balanced build across the North East, which includes dozens of urban and rural communities. We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of the North East can be online effortlessly and build opportunities in their community. Connecting everyone in the region to our fastest and most reliable broadband would result in a multi-billion pound economic boost.”

Openreach’s new ultrafast Full Fibre network in North East now reaches nearly 190,000 properties, and the company plans to roll out the new technology to 25 million homes and business across the UK by the end of 2026.

You can find out more about the benefits of an upgrade to Full Fibre broadband here