Thousands across Norfolk missing out on faster broadband

Around 25 per cent of people who can upgrade to Ultrafast full fibre across Norfolk have done so – but thousands are still missing out on faster, more reliable broadband services. 

In some areas, such as Kings Lynn and Norwich, the percentage of those upgrading falls to around 10 per cent. 

In Kings Lynn, around 1,300 premises from a possible 11,900 have chosen to upgrade. And in Norwich that figure is just 2,000 from 20,000 currently using the new technology. 

Following a multi-million pound local investment in recent years, engineers have been busy building new full fibre networks to make ultrafast speeds of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps) available to people living and working in many communities across Norfolk.

As well as being faster, full fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity, with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds; and enough capacity to use multiple devices at once.  

Packages from a wide range of broadband providers are increasingly competitively priced, meaning people may not end up paying much more per month than their current bill, for a much-improved service.

Kieran Wines, Openreach’s regional director for East Anglia, said: “Fast and reliable full fibre broadband gives households and businesses a boost as they continue to live and work through the pandemic. It can have a huge impact on people’s daily lives, and it’s great for the economy too.

“The important thing to remember is that upgrades don’t happen automatically, and people need to contact and place orders through their broadband provider to get take advantage.”

“Our engineering build continues across the region and we’re determined to deliver a great service to local residents, helping people to work from home easily and build connections and opportunities in their communities. This network’s also future-proof, so it’ll work for decades, no matter how much bandwidth we need and what life throws at us next.

Once somebody places an order with a service provider, an Openreach engineer will visit on an agreed day. They’ll run a new fibre optical cable from underground or a nearby pole to a small junction box on the outside wall of the premises. A smaller cable goes through the outside wall to an inside unit - which needs to be near a double electric socket – and before they leave, the engineer will test the connection to make sure it’s up and running.

Openreach has announced plans to invest in full fibre broadband for the majority of premises in  towns and villages across the East of England. It’s part of the company’s plans to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2026. This short video explains what full fibre technology is and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme here.

A recent report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in the East of England to ‘full fibre’ broadband would create a £5.4 billion boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.