Tom Tugendhat MP visits Openreach engineers in Edenbridge

Tonbridge and Malling MP learns more about the Full Fibre upgrade in his constituency

The Rt Hon Tom Tugendhat MP visited Openreach engineers to witness first-hand the  innovative engineering techniques being used to deliver ultrafast Full Fibre broadband across his Tonbridge and Malling constituency.

He was given a tour of the work, which has already reached 20,000 homes and businesses in the local area, as well as hundreds of thousands more in other locations across Kent.

Edenbridge was included in Openreach’s full fibre build in June 2021. Since then, engineers have been working there and in other nearby places including Lingfield, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, and will continue throughout 2023.

Meeting with the MP, the Openreach team was able to explain how the build in urban areas is happening alongside rural work, and they highlighted recent announcements that will bring Full Fibre broadband to thousands of local premises.

Mr Tugendhat visited the local exchange to look at where the Openreach network starts. He learned more about fibreoptics and how Full Fibre is future-proofing connections for decades to come.

Tom Tugendhat MP learns about fibreoptics at Edenbridge Telephone Exchange

Tom Tugendhat MP, said: I was delighted to be able to come and see at first-hand the work Openreach is doing to improve and upgrade the provision of broadband in our area.

“I know that this is a really important issue for many residents across our villages and the progress, through technology, which is being made to deliver better and faster broadband is vital, not only to individuals and families within their homes, but also for the many small enterprises and businesses, who support our local economy, and for whom a good and reliable broadband connection is so important.”

Tom Tugendhat MP learns about fibreoptics at Edenbridge Telephone Exchange

The visit was hosted by Alastair Woods, Openreach’s regional major programmes director for the South, who said: “We welcomed the opportunity to give Mr Tugendhat a step-by-step demonstration of our technology. Our engineers work hard every day to keep communities across Kent and the wider region connected, and it was great to be able to share the challenges and realities of delivering this technology.”

Openreach is building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK.   With download speeds of 1 Gbps, it’s up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming.

You can also use multiple devices at once without experiencing slowdown – so more people in your household can get online at once. Even if the rest of your family are making video calls, streaming box sets or gaming online, all at the same time – you won’t experience stuttering, buffering or dropouts.

Full fibre is also less affected by peak time congestion – so you can enjoy your Saturday night blockbuster in 4K without the dreaded buffering screen.

Openreach is working to build and connect customers to the company’s ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband network - which is on track to reach 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026.

Residents and businesses can use Openreach’s fibre checker to see what infrastructure is available at their address.  Once they’ve put their address in, they’ll be able to see a list of providers working in their area and choose the package that works for them.

Openreach plays an important role across the South East. More than 4,800 of our people live and work here. Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South East to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £8.7 billion boost to the local economy.

This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.