Rural Devon areas to get broadband boost by 2026

engineer working on Broadband in Sidbury

Openreach engineer working in street - Credit: Openreach

The broadband provider Openreach is set to give Honiton, Sidbury, Stoke Canon and Bampton a new ultrafast broadband network within the next five years.

It is part of a £31.5 million upgrade for the South West region, giving people in rural, hard-to-reach areas access to an ultra-reliable ‘full fibre’ broadband network. 

The Government has a target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025. Openreach said its own plans are fundamental to achieving this aim; it hopes to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country to break down the 'digital divide'.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South West to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £4.3 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have been working hard to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK – at times reaching 47,000 premises a week – and work will continue between now and 2026, with the full list of locations and timescales being updated regularly on the Openreach website.

The company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025. The company plans to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom. Openreach employs more than 3,400 people across the South West and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.

20.09.19Open Reach - Connie DixonPicture by Nick Treharne:

20.09.19 Open Reach - Connie Dixon Picture by Nick Treharne:

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South West, (pictured above) said: “Good connectivity is vital – whether it’s to work from home, access education and care services, or for gaming and streaming entertainment – and that’s why we’re investing across the UK to upgrade our network to 25 million premises."

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