£12.5m Broadband Boost for the South West

Openreach engineer working on underground Full Fibre network

More than 41,500 more homes and businesses in the South West are set to benefit from the latest broadband boost thanks to a further £12.5m investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen.

When work is finished, people living and working in eight more communities across Bristol, Devon, Gloucestershire and Somerset will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to Full Fibre broadband, with the new network being built to the majority of premises in locations such as Avonmouth, Exminster, Topsham, Kingskerswell, Sowton (Exeter), Wotton-under-Edge, Chipping Sodbury and Keyford (Frome).

This is a further boost for the South West as it follows several key announcements last year outlining plans that more than 810,000 homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including more than 440,000 in rural and harder to serve areas.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South West, said: “Nobody in the UK is building full fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“In 2021 our engineers built around 770 metres of new broadband cables every minute – making ultrafast broadband available to another home or business every 13 seconds. We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast, Full Fibre technology including more than 260,000 across the South West, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it.”

Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network, providing more predictable, consistent speeds.

Across the South West, more than 60,000 homes and businesses have already ordered a Full Fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network. But this means another 200,000 could be benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in the world and have yet to upgrade.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South West to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £4.3 billion boost to the local economy.