Openreach lights up Salisbury with lanterns and fibre optics

Hundreds of people join engineers carrying lanterns at much-loved Christmas event

Last week the streets of Salisbury were lit up with the return of the Salisbury Lantern & Lights Procession which was proudly sponsored by Openreach.

People braved the weather to join the procession, which was organised by Salisbury BID and Salisbury City Council.

Lantern-bearers gathered at Salisbury Cathedral and processed down the High Street, through the Old George Mall and into the Market Place.  The Mayor of Salisbury John Walsh, the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, Reverend Canon Nicholas Charles Papadopulos and Openreach's Director of Fibre First, James Tappenden led the procession with Dolphin Marching Band, which played festive music.

Once the procession arrived at the Market Place, participants and spectators were treated to a spectacular dance performance by local company, Elevate Dance, who incorporated fibre optic light wands into their routine.  Openreach engineers were also on hand with two showcase vans which demonstrate how full fibre technology will benefit the homes and businesses of the city.

Our engineers also carried their own lantern, a giant fibre optic "squid", complete with colourful wiggly tentacles.  We also ran a competition for the best lantern with a £500 prize of cool tech just ready for the new fibre infrastructure.  The winner was a bear lantern, handmade by Clare Spender of Salisbury who was delighted with her prize.

James Tappenden, Fibre First Director at Openreach, said: “We’ve hugely enjoyed being able to support this event and for some of our engineers to take part in the procession with their very own full fibre broadband inspired giant lantern.

“Our dedicated engineers are now back hard at work building a full fibre network to give the whole city access to some of the best, most reliable broadband in the UK – and hopefully giving the city something else to celebrate when we complete the build in March next year.

“We’re making great progress so if you want check to see if you can already order a full fibre broadband service, or just want to find out more about what full fibre can do for you, visit our dedicated Salisbury web page at www.openreach.co.uk/salisbury.”

The Mayor of Salisbury, Cllr John Walsh, said: “I was delighted to see all the hard work of the City Council and the BID come together this evening and it was heart-warming to see so many families come out with their lanterns to light up the city.

“Everyone did such a fantastic job making their lanterns, and congratulations to Clare of Salisbury who took home the prize for the best lantern.

“Finally, a special thank you to Openreach whose sponsorship enabled us to put this event on, and it was great to see their incredible engineers join the procession with their own lantern.”