Openreach lights up Salisbury for much-loved Christmas event

Lantern & Lights Procession to go ahead with new support from the UK’s digital infrastructure company

This year’s Salisbury Lantern & Lights Procession will be held on 12 December thanks to support from new sponsor, Openreach, which is partnering with Salisbury BID and Salisbury City Council to bring the festive event to the city once again this year.

Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, is currently working to make Salisbury the first city in the country with universal access to its future-proof, next generation full fibre broadband technology in what’s expected to be the fastest city-wide network build in the UK.

Engineers are busy connecting fibre optic cables from the local exchange directly to thousands of homes and businesses across the city. When complete, families, businesses and public buildings across the city will all be able to reap the benefits of fast, reliable and future-proof broadband for decades to come.

James Tappenden, Fibre First Director at Openreach, said, “We’re building a full fibre network to give the whole city access to some of the best, most reliable broadband in the UK. Our fibre optic cables transmit data using light signals – so we thought it would be fitting to help ‘light up’ the city in another way by supporting the Lantern & Lights Procession. And, of course, it’s another great way for us to connect with people who live and work in this fantastic city.”

Salisbury based Openreach engineers will be taking an active part in this year’s parade – with their own fibre broadband themed giant lantern creation. Openreach has also upped the ante for all those taking part by offering a prize for the best lantern. A tech bundle worth £500 will be awarded on the night of the procession by James Tappenden, who added, “We’ll have our own Openreach themed lantern in the Procession this year and I can’t wait to see all the other brilliant entries. I’m really looking forward to awarding the best one with a bunch of technology that will help them make the most of the new network we’re building here.”

Kara Rogers, Marketing & Communications Manager at Salisbury BID (Business Improvement District), said, “The Lantern & Lights Procession is always a highlight in Salisbury’s Christmas event calendar, and we welcome Openreach’s sponsorship which has enabled the BID and City Council to put on an even bigger event.

“We recognize Openreach’s significant investment into Salisbury with their full fibre broadband technology, which will boost the city’s businesses and the economy, and we’re grateful Openreach is also ‘lighting up’ the city by sponsoring this community event.

 “We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of people to Salisbury to enjoy the city’s much-loved Lantern & Lights Procession.”

Openreach engineers and their families are getting involved in a lantern-making workshop being held at Salisbury Guildhall from 10:00am – 3:00pm on 30th November, where participants will learn how to make a traditional willow and tissue paper lantern. This drop-in session is free for everyone to attend and all materials will be provided.

Full fibre technology will revolutionise Salisbury’s ability to compete both nationally and internationally and will be a boost for Salisbury’s education, health and social care facilities. For schools, colleges and universities, an FTTP connection can unlock opportunities for online learning; the streaming of lessons and lectures without interruption; and the use of portals for communicating with classmates or teachers, and submitting work.

For GP surgeries, full fibre can enable faster, more reliable on-demand services, such as remote doctors’ appointments and check-ups, plus more efficient, reliable access to online information and records. Meanwhile for care homes, it can mean a 24/7 connection between residents and their loved ones, as well as activities and entertainment, from catch-up TV to online puzzles and e-books.

Once built, full fibre broadband is not automatically connected to residents and businesses, so they will need to order the new service from a Communications Provider. They can check online to see if their area has been upgraded by entering their postcode into Openreach’s online fibre checker and this short video explains more about what full fibre technology is.