Digital & IT

Published: November 19, 2021 | Updated: November 20, 2021

Three more Dorset locations to be upgraded to full fibre broadband due to £31.5m investment

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A further 20 communities in the south west – including Ferndown, Wimborne and Puddletown – are to be upgraded to ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.

Openreach has announced it’s spending a further £31.5 million on the new locations, including Dorset.

They cover an additional 90,000 homes and businesses in the south west.

Openreach’s announcement comes as the digital network provider reaches more than 6 million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre.

More than 540,000 of that figure is in the south west.

It’s a further boost for the region following the news in June that an additional 720,000 homes and businesses will be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including 440,000 in rural and harder to serve areas.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South West, pictured left, said, “Good connectivity is vital – whether it’s to work from home, access education and care services, or for gaming and streaming entertainment – and that’s why we’re investing across the UK to upgrade our network to 25 million premises.

“Nobody’s building faster, further or to a higher standard than Openreach, and we’ve already reached six million homes and businesses with ultrafast full fibre technology, including around 540,000 in the South West.

“It’s proving popular as well, with nearly 30 per cent of the population already choosing to start using it.

“Our engineers and build partners are reaching more communities every week and we’re not just building in cities and urban areas.

“Many rural and hard to reach communities are already benefitting and we plan to reach many more in the coming months and years.”

Across the UK, 1.3 million homes and businesses have already ordered a Full Fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the 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.

Openreach engineers have been working to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK – at times reaching 47,000 premises a week.

Work will continue between now and 2026, with the full list of locations and timescales being updated regularly on the Openreach website.

The company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025.

The company plans to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

Openreach employs more than 3,400 people across the South West.

More on the Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans can found by clicking here.