Full fibre broadband for more than 100,000 properties

Openreach says more than 100,000 homes and businesses in and around Leeds can now access some of the UK’s fastest, most reliable broadband.

As designated key workers, Openreach engineers have been working throughout the lockdown.

They have been installing a network that uses Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology – where fibre optic cables are laid all the way from the local telephone exchange to people’s front doors.

The technology is ‘live’ in locations such as Armley, Chapeltown, Headingley and Moortown, Collingham, Harehills and Morley – with homes and businesses there now able to order an upgrade.

In the coming months, work is also due to be completed in Pudsey and Horsforth.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional partnership director in the North, said: “We’re making great progress here in the Leeds area and our full fibre build has continued despite the obvious challenges.

“As well as keeping the existing network running, our engineers have 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 who can to switch to the new technology and take advantage of 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.”

Recent research suggests the network could bring clear economic benefits as Leeds looks to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research shows that connecting everyone in Yorkshire and the Humber to full fibre broadband would create a £3.8bn boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources, said: “At a time when we’re all having to work and access our services digitally, the council welcomes this investment in futureproof full fibre networks in Leeds.

“Rolling out full fibre in Leeds will mean quicker, more responsive public services for our residents and attracting more high-quality jobs to the area as businesses are keen to invest in cities with great connectivity.”