08
December
2020
|
11:52
Europe/Amsterdam

West Dorset MP urges Beaminster residents to pool Government-backed vouchers to deliver more ultrafast broadband

Minister and MP supports new Openreach initiative to extend rural next-generation network build

Openreach is asking residents in Beaminster to get behind a bid to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to even more local homes and businesses.

The company is planning Beaminster’s new, full fibre broadband network and is urging residents and businesses to consider pooling broadband vouchers available from the UK Government to help extend the build even further.

Residents who don’t already have access to a 100Mbps broadband service can check if they may qualify and pledge their voucher on the Connect My Community website www.openreach.co.uk/beaminsterpr.

The vouchers can be combined to extend the ultrafast, ultra-reliable network to premises in outlying rural areas which won’t be covered by private investment.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Partnership Director for the West said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Beaminster to bring full fibre infrastructure to the very hardest-to-reach local addresses.

“Because we’ve already committed to build full fibre to most of the town, the UK government is supporting this incremental approach to help us to go even further. But it’s only possible with everyone working together – you, your neighbours and Openreach.

“Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make Beaminster one of the best-connected places in the South West. Pledging couldn’t be simpler, but we need residents to act quickly – as the scheme closes in March 2021.”

Connie added, “We’re investing £12 billion to build full fibre broadband to 20 million homes – and more than three million of those will be in the toughest third of the UK – but we can’t upgrade the whole country alone. This latest support from government, alongside help to remove red tape and barriers that slow down the build, is vital.”

To claim vouchers which contribute towards the cost of building the new network, residents are asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available.

Eligible residents qualify for up to £1,500 for rural homes and up to £3,500 for small and medium-sized businesses under the UK Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

Local MP, Chris Loder backed the initiative, saying: “In 2019 I was elected on a pledge to improve connectivity for West Dorset and I am pleased to be delivering on that. Rural communities are more dependent than ever on access to fast broadband and full fibre technology will make a huge difference to residents and businesses. It makes sense for the local build programme to be extended as far as possible; and I urge residents to sign up and support this scheme, to ensure everyone in Beaminster has the opportunity to benefit from the latest advances in digital technology.”

UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “We're committed to levelling up communities across the UK with lightning-fast gigabit broadband that will improve lives and boost the economy.

"The broadband vouchers on offer provide immediate financial help for people to get next-generation speeds by covering the installation costs of companies such as Openreach.

"I urge people to check online if they are eligible for a broadband boost."

Full fibre technology provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; meaning fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands. It's also futureproofed, which means it will serve generations to come and won’t need to be upgraded for decades.

Fibre optics - strands of glass around one-tenth the thickness of a human hair - transmit data using light signals. Fibre is smaller, lighter and more durable than copper cabling and less vulnerable to damage. This short video explains what full fibre technology is and there’s more info here.

About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.

We’re more than 34,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 660 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 31.8m premises.

 Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £14 billion into our network and, at more than 190 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,798 times.

Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re making progress towards our FTTP target to reach 20m premises by mid-to-late 2020s. We’ve also hired more than 3,000 trainee engineers this past financial year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed unit of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2020, we reported revenue of £5bn.

For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk.