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Leicestershire broadband in the fast lane

Press release   •   Aug 13, 2019 13:14 BST

Leicestershire County Council and Openreach celebrate the new contract

Thousands of homes and businesses in west Leicestershire will soon be able to benefit from some of the UK’s fastest broadband speeds.

It’s after Leicestershire County Council announced a £2.7 million extension to their Superfast Leicestershire partnership.

Thousands of premises, currently with slow speeds, are set to get access to Full Fibre broadband, where fibre optic cables are laid along telephone poles right to people’s front doors.

Not only is it quick – with speeds that mean you can download a two-hour movie in just 25 seconds – but it’s also future-proof and more reliable.

The announcement was made at Donington Park Racetrack, where more than 700 residents in nearby Castle Donington can already upgrade to superfast broadband thanks to the programme, with the remaining residents being upgraded when work gets underway in 2020.

Trevor Pendleton, cabinet support member at Leicestershire County Council, explains why improved broadband provisions are vital to the future of Leicestershire; “The world is rapidly changing, ensuring that Leicestershire is equipped with the latest digital technology will drive economic growth and innovation.

“To make sure that Leicestershire residents and businesses can take advantage of the latest technological developments, local governments are relied on to invest in future-proof infrastructure. The full-fibre solutions we are delivering into people’s homes will become one of the many reasons Leicestershire is great place to live and work.”

Building work on the new network is due to start by the end of this year. The areas set to benefit are North West Leicestershire, Charnwood, Hinckley and Bosworth, and Blaby.

Trevor continues; “It was great to launch this programme in a community that will benefit from the programme and has benefited so much already.

“The aim of the council is to continue this programme until every resident in Leicestershire can access superfast speeds. We remain committed to every household that is still to be upgraded to fibre broadband and I look forward to attending many more of these launches.”

The Superfast Leicestershire team were joined by delivery partners Openreach, who will building the new broadband infrastructure, and Building Digital UK, the broadband arm of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Matt Bateman, Openreach’s Director for Infrastructure Development, said:

“We’ve already done a huge amount of work across Leicestershire, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, and we’re delighted to be going even further. This latest phase of work will help us make fast and reliable broadband available to many of the most rural parts of the county, and there is no doubt it’ll make a huge difference to people living and working there.

“None of this would be possible without our highly-skilled engineers who are experts at delivering some of the fastest broadband speeds available in the UK. Earlier this year, we announced we’d be hiring 185 new apprentice engineers in the East Midlands, and those jobs have proven to be extremely popular.”

For the last six years of the programme, Superfast Leicestershire has worked alongside Openreach, the city and district councils and the LLEP, to bring fibre broadband to all districts of Leicestershire.

Minister for Digital and Broadband, Matt Warman, said: "We want to deliver a world class, gigabit-capable broadband across the country as soon as possible. That's why the Government has committed over £650 million for full fibre rollout and it's great to see local areas like Leicestershire take advantage of that funding to boost their digital infrastructure."

96% of Leicestershire and 99% of the city can access fibre broadband, with over 75,000 properties already upgraded through the Superfast Leicestershire programme.

For more information about Superfast Leicestershire visit www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk or look out for #SuperfastLeics on Twitter.

About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.

We’re 33,000 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 620 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27.5m UK premises

Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £13 billion into our network and, at more than 173 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,314 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 on track to reach four million premises with this ‘full fibre’ technology by March 2021 and ultimately, we want to upgrade the majority of the UK if the conditions are right. We’re also hiring around 3,000 trainee engineers this year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed division 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 2019, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk