Thousands across Whitley Bay missing out on faster broadband

Just 20 per cent of people and businesses who can upgrade to Ultrafast Full Fibre across the Whitley Bay area have done so – with thousands still missing out on faster, more reliable broadband services.

Following a 5.7 million pound local investment, Openreach engineers have been busy building the network to make ultrafast speeds of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps) available to the majority of the town and adjoining communities.

People living and working in the seaside town and communities such as Cullercoats, Monkseaton, West Monkseaton and parts of Shiremoor, are being encouraged to find out more about faster broadband – as the latest figures show that Openreach’s Full Fibre network – used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen – is now available to more than 19,000 premises.

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.  

Elsewhere, Openreach engineers have also been hard at work in Benton where more than 14,000 households and businesses can already place an order for the new technology.

The company has also announced plans to build the new network in Killingworth, North Shields and Wallsend.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional director for the North East and Scotland, said: “Research shows that this new network will give businesses an edge and provide families and home-workers future-proof connectivity, no matter what life throws at us next.

“Our investment across the region continues at pace, and we’re determined to deliver a great service which helps communities thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities.

“Gigabit-capable broadband can have a huge impact on people’s lives and it’s great for the economy but upgrades aren’t automatic. People need to place an order with their chosen providers to get connected and we’ll do the rest. Our network offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen - which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.”

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.

Once somebody places and 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 dozens of towns and villages across the North East. 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 build programme here.

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in the North East to ‘Full Fibre’ broadband would create a £1.7 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.