Almost 160,000 more homes and businesses across the West Midlands are set to benefit from a major broadband boost as part of a £47 million investment by Openreach.
Work is being carried out to upgrade more than a dozen communities across Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire to enable them to connect to full fibre broadband.
Improvements are being made in areas including Burslem, Biddulph, Longton, Stoke, Newcastle and Kidsgrove in Staffordshire as well as Selly Oak, Castle Bromwich, Willenhall and Knowle in the West Midlands, while Dunchurch in Warwickshire and Headless Cross in Worcestershire are also set to benefit.
Openreach says the investment is a further boost for the region and follows an announcement last year that more than 600,000 homes and businesses would be getting access to the new network, including 300,000 premises in rural and harder to serve areas.
Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for the Midlands, said: “Nobody in the UK is building full fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in Europe.
“In 2021, our engineers built around 770 metres of new broadband cables every minute – making Ultrafast broadband available to another home every 13 seconds. We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast full fibre technology including more than 550,000 premises across the West Midlands, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it.”
Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network, providing more predictable, consistent speeds.
Across the West Midlands more than 130,000 homes and businesses have already ordered a full fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network – but another 400,000 premises are yet to upgrade.
Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that connecting everyone in the West Midlands to full fibre would create an estimated £4.5 billion boost to the local economy.