55,000 more homes and businesses in Gloucestershire to get full-fibre broadband

Dreams of faster broadband are about to become a reality for 55,000 homes and businesses across Gloucestershire after Openreach announced major investment plans for the county.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

Openreach has outlined plans to lay the groundwork for ‘ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband’ to 55,000 more ‘hard to reach’ homes and businesses across Gloucestershire – and some three million UK-wide.

The Government aims to make ‘gigabit-capable broadband’ available to 85 per cent of the country by 2025.

Motiving Openreach, the nation’s main infrastructure provider, was key for the Government to achieve that vision – with incentives announced by Ofgem earlier this year appearing to have done the trick.

Shortly after Ofgem stepped up, Openreach revealed a £15 billion investment plan to upgrade the UK to what it called the faster and more reliable ‘future proof’ full-fibre system.

Gloucestershire homes and businesses served by the telephone exchanges in Abson; Amberley; Berkeley; Bourton-On-The-Water; Brimscombe; Cinderford; Coleford; Drybrook; Dursley; Fairford; Lechlade; Lydney; Marshfield; Nailsworth; Newent; Northleach; Pilning; Rangeworthy; South Cerney; Stonehouse; Tetbury; Whitecroft; and Winchcombe are all set to feel the benefits.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s regional director for the South West, said: ‘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.’

The FSB, the federation which represents the nation’s small businesses, has called the need for better digital infrastructure across the UK is ‘an urgent priority’.

To enable it to deliver its part, Openreach has launched a new recruitment drive, expecting to create 1,000 new roles in 2021 – on top of the 2,500 jobs already announced in December 2020, of which 200 were in the South West.
By Andrew Merrell

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