Broadband upgrade for Staffordshire and Shropshire towns
Openreach has outlined plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable full fibre broadband available to 11 market towns and villages across the West Midlands.
Cannock, Hednesford, Burton upon Trent and Leek in Staffordshire, and Ludlow and Market Drayton in Shropshire, will be upgraded by Openreach, without taxpayer subsidy and it’s hoped having access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe will boost their post-Covid economic recovery.
Work is expected to get underway in many of the announced locations within the next 12 to 18 months, although due to the size of the build, some places will see work continue into 2024.
The new West Midlands locations are part of a wider announcement to make the new technology available to a further 3.2 million premises in the UK’s hardest to reach ‘final third’.
The build is at the forefront of a massive £12 billion investment, which will see Openreach’s ambition to build ‘Full Fibre’ iv infrastructure to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s – delivering significant economic, social and environmental benefits for rural and urban communities, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place.
Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s partnership director in the West Midlands, said: “We’ve already upgraded tens of thousands of homes and business across the region to full fibre.
"As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid crisis, our engineers have safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.
“I’d encourage everyone in Staffordshire to check if they can switch to the new technology, and if you can, get in touch with your broadband provider to find out more about the many benefits.
"‘Full fibre’ is more reliable and more resilient meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds.
“It is also ‘future-proof’ to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies.”