Openreach reveals 26 places in the region to receive full fibre

Openreach has announced plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable full fibre broadband available to homes and businesses in and around 26 market towns and villages across Yorkshire and the Humber.

The plans are part of a wider bid to make the new technology available to a further 3.2 million premises

The new locations, which include Whitby, Skipton, Bridlington, Scarborough, Selby, Otley, Knottingley, Upton, Malton, Settle and Askern, will be upgraded by Openreach, without taxpayer subsidy. Openreach said it hopes that having access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe will boost their post-Covid economic recovery.

Work is expected to get under way in many of the locations within the next 12 to 18 months, although due to the size of the build, some places will see work continue into 2024.

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The new locations also include Cross Hills, Cullingworth, Embsay, Filey, Pickering, Stainforth, South Elmsall, South Kirkby, Thirsk, Thurcroft, Goldthorpe, Hatfield Woodhouse, High Green, Wickersley and Wilsden.

The plans are part of a wider bid 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 £12bn investment, which will see Openreach’s ambition to bring full fibre 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.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s partnership director in the North of England, said: “We’ve already upgraded tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber 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 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.”

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) revealed that connecting everyone in Yorkshire and the Humber to full fibre broadband by 2025 would create a £3.8bn boost to the region’s economy.

The report also revealed that 39,000 people in the region could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity. This could include roles within small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as allowing thousands more people to work remotely by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home grown businesses.