Million homes in South West have access to full fibre

A million homes and businesses across the South West can now access Full Fibre broadband from dozens of providers using the Openreach network.

To mark the milestone, the UK’s biggest wholesale network provider has revealed the 20 locations in the region with the highest levels of Full Fibre coverage.

Alderbury, a small village with origins dating back to pre-historic times, tops the list, with more than nine out of ten homes and businesses there able to order ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband offering speeds of one gigabit per second.

The medieval cathedral city of Salisbury, just a few miles north west of Alderbury, is just a fraction behind and ranks second whilst the coastal village of Downderry in Cornwall and the popular seaside destination of Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon rank third and fourth. Bristol South is fifth.

So far, more than £300m has been invested to upgrade the region’s communications infrastructure, replacing legacy copper connections with ultrafast Full Fibre broadband.

Further investment is planned over the coming years, with more than 300 exchange areas already part of the company’s UK-wide commercial investment programme, which aims to reach 25 million premises by the end of 2026.

Truro, Totnes, Portland, Tewkesbury, Devonport, Yeovil and Trowbridge are among the dozens of locations across the South West where Openreach engineers are currently building new Full Fibre network.

However, only around two in five homes and businesses which could upgrade to the new platform across the region have done so – with hundreds of thousands still missing out on the faster, more reliable services available to them today.

Openreach’s partnership director for the South West, Martin Williams said: “Our amazing engineers and build partners have done a wonderful job to help us reach this significant milestone.  This Full Fibre upgrade is a huge boost for the South West. We’re adopting a balanced build, bringing ultrafast speeds to the region’s biggest cities and most rural and coastal communities – as this list proves.  We’re not stopping at one million – and people in the South West should visit the Openreach website to see if they can upgrade to Full Fibre already, or see when we’re coming to their area.”

Chief executive of the South West Business Council, Paul Coles said: “This is an important milestone in the drive to improve digital connectivity across our region.  Openreach’s investment in the ultrafast upgrade of the South West will underpin much-needed economic growth and prosperity in the region.”