Over 260,000 NI homes and businesses can now connect to faster, full fibre broadband


Nearly 30% of homes and businesses in NI can now access the Openreach full fibre network as a result of Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme

Openreach also unveils its biggest ever marketing campaign in the region, celebrating its partnership with Ulster Rugby

Openreach, the engineering team that builds, maintains and manages the broadband network, today announced that over 260,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland (NI) can now enjoy the benefits of new ultrafast, ultra-reliable internet access as a result of the roll out of new future-proof ‘Fibre-to-the-Premises’ (FTTP) broadband technology.

This milestone means nearly 30% of premises across NI now have access to faster, ‘full fibre’ broadband keeping Openreach on track to ensure almost 40% of premises are fully fibre enabled by the end of March 2020. This year alone, 187,000 premises have been included in the region-wide build programme.

In the Belfast area 120,000 premises can now connect to Openreach full fibre broadband, which is more that 60% of homes and businesses.

With speeds available of up to 1Gbps – enough bandwidth for a family of four to all stream ultra HD or 4k quality movies or TV simultaneously, without waiting or buffering – these upgraded fibre connections are helping to ensure that NI has a reliable, future-proof and dependable service that will be a platform for economic growth in the region.

Mairead Meyer, Openreach Director in Northern Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this important milestone, enabling even more homes and businesses right across NI to take advantage of improved broadband speeds.

“We’re building a network that delivers more than just speed. Full fibre broadband will provide Northern Ireland with a future proof and consistent service that will help renew towns and communities across the region and supports NI’s position as a leading digital economy.”

Alongside today’s milestone announcement, Openreach has unveiled its biggest ever marketing campaign in Northern Ireland. The campaign celebrates Openreach’s new four-year sponsorship deal with Ulster Rugby and highlights the role Openreach and its 750 strong team, play in building the network that connects us to each other.

Mairead continued: “We’re incredibly proud, and very excited, to also unveil our new marketing campaign this week, with a TV ad featuring Ulster Rugby and two of our Openreach engineers, this is a first for us here in Northern Ireland.

“The campaign celebrates the importance of connections, from the families and friends that come together at weekend sports events, the coaches and communities that help support young people, to our very own engineers who play such a crucial role in building the broadband network that keeps Northern Ireland connected.

“As one of the new shirt sponsors of Ulster Rugby, we worked with the club, along with groups from across the region and with our own engineers to tell this story and took inspiration from some real-life anecdotes and personal experiences to create our campaign. This included stories such as that of current Ulster Rugby player, Robert Baloucoune and Ulster Academy player Joe Dunleavy as well as stories of people like lifetime Ulster supporter, Ruth Kohner, and that of our own Openreach engineers.

“Using real life stories as inspiration allowed us to bring this campaign to life and helped us to show how connections are at the heart of everything we do. We really are stronger when we’re connected.”

Jonny Petrie, Ulster Rugby Chief Executive Officer said: “Since coming on board as a shirt sponsor this season, Openreach have been a fantastic, proactive partner of Ulster Rugby. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with them on their new marketing campaign, which was launched in line with Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Heineken Champions Cup fixture against Bath. In terms of the scale of the media campaign, this will be the biggest activation by any of the club’s partners and I think it is a great example of how a sponsor can work together with the club to deliver an authentic campaign that will engage supporters and effectively deliver key messages for both parties.”

To find out more about Openreach and to check for new, full fibre broadband, as well as to watch Openreach’s latest video and read more about the inspiration behind the campaign then visit openreach.co.uk/ni


For further information

Please contact the Openreach team at Smarts Communicate on 028 9039 5500 or email openreach@smartscommunicate.com