Openreach starts ultrafast broadband build in Folkestone and Hythe

Openreach engineers in Hythe

Openreach is starting work to build a new ultrafast broadband network for Folkestone and Hythe – 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.

Engineers have started build recently and will reach the majority of local homes and businesses over the next 12-18 months.

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.

Residents will be able to enjoy a host of online services and entertainment such as seamless streaming and smooth online gaming experiences.  Businesses can operate with certainty that their broadband will support day-to-day, business critical tasks such as video calls, banking and customer interaction via social media platforms.

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.

Kieran Wines

Kieran Wines, Regional Partnership Director for Openreach, said: “We’re bringing ultrafast broadband to Folkestone and Hythe 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 the towns, and we're working closely with Kent County Council 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: “Folkestone and Hythe are part of our balanced build across the South East, which includes more than 200 rural and coastal exchange areas. We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of the South 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 engineers in Hythe

Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, said, “Accessing better broadband is a big issue for many of our coastal towns and Openreach’s investment in Bexhill’s digital infrastructure is welcome news.   Ultrafast connectivity will benefit individuals and families within their homes, but also the many small enterprises and businesses, which support especially the local visitor economy, for whom a good and reliable broadband connection is so important.”

Openreach’s new ultrafast Full Fibre network in the South East now reaches more than one million properties, and the Company plans to roll out the new technology to 25 million homes by the end of 2026. Thousands of residents in 150 exchange areas across the region already have access and investment is planned in 189 other local locations.

Openreach engineers in Hythe

The team building in Hythe has been drawn from our in-house engineering force and includes including newly-trained recruits; Openreach build partner Morrison Telecom Services is helping to deliver the investment in Folkestone. Patrick Carolan, Managing Director, said, “It’s great to be working with Openreach to bring better broadband to people and businesses in Folkstone. Our teams are getting lots of interest in what they’re doing – there’s definitely lots of local demand for faster, more reliable broadband.  We’re working hard to make sure there’s as little disturbance as possible and we thank local people for their understanding as we deliver their new, ultrafast broadband network.”

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