Openreach News Release
Openreach to upgrade thousands across Leicestershire to Full Fibre
Upgrades for three million more premises in the toughest third of the UK supporting UK Government target of making Gigabit capable broadband available to 85% of country by 2025.
• Includes around 25,000 homes and businesses in Leicestershire.
Openreach today outlined plans to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to at least three million more homes and businesses – including around 25,000 in Leicestershire – in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities. It means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.
A total of 13 exchanges across the county are being upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses
in places such as Desford, Kibworth, Lutterworth, Markfield, Market Bosworth, Measham and Sapcote set to benefit from what will be a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering. *Full list of locations below*
The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country.
The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December 2020 – of which around 140 were in the East Midlands. This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.
Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for the East Midlands, said: “Building a new Ultrafast broadband network across the East Midlands is a massive challenge and some parts of the region will inevitably require public funding. But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other network builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.
“This is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits. We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more jobs in the region, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers as engineers.
“We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can also check what’s already available which includes the tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the East Midlands that can already access Full Fibre.”
Openreach is already building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK, having made the technology available to more than 4.7 million homes and business so far.
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.
Surf, shop, game, play, click, teach, talk, work, create, learn, buy, sell, watch and do business without skipping a beat or slowing down.
The company’s Chief Engineer unit is using a range of innovations and techniques to deliver world class build costs, whilst a major investment in 11 new regional training centres – including Peterborough, where most East Midlands engineers are trained – is helping to equip and skill thousands of new engineers.
Openreach plays an important role across the East Midlands region. More than 1,600 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 East Midlands to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £3.5 billion boost to the local economy.
For further information
For more information please contact Chris Jones in the Openreach PR team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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List of exchange locations being upgraded in Leicestershire
Asfordby, Bagworth, Bottesford, Desford, Fleckney, Kibworth, Lutterworth, Market Bosworth, Markfield, Measham, Sapcote, Stoke Golding, Woodhouse Eaves
Full Fibre Facts
• £15bn – total investment in Openreach’s Full Fibre build programme
• 25m – premises Openreach expects to build to by December 2026, of which:
• 4m – premises Openreach will build to each year at its peak
• 2m – premises Openreach built to during FY 20/21 (up from 1m in 19/20).
• 1m – customer connections live already
• Up to 7,000 – new trainee engineering jobs to be created within Openreach and partners in the supply chain as a result of increasing build from 20 to 25m by December 2026
• 9,000 apprenticeship roles created and filled by Openreach since 2017/18
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
i The vast majority of these locations fall within the ‘final third’ or ‘Geographic Area 3’, which is defined by Ofcom as 9.5 million premises in the least commercially viable areas of the UK for competitive broadband infrastructure upgrades