Around 334,000 more West Midlands homes and businesses are set to benefit from a broadband boost in the region of £134m thanks to Openreach – the UK’s largest broadband network provider.
People living and working in a number of towns and villages across Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands (including Aldridge, Berkswell, Bloxwich, Penn, Sedgley and Tettenhall) and Worcestershire are all set to benefit from the company’s national upgrade plan, with the majority of premises in each area gaining access to the latest Ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband.
Work – in places like Nuneaton, Rugeley, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Telford and parts of Walsall and Wolverhampton - will take place between now and 2026, with the full list of locations and timescales published on Openreach’s website.
The news comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement last month, when 185,000 premises - in 82 mainly rural and harder to serve areas across the region - were also included in Openreach’s build plan.
Both announcements build on Openreach’s existing work in the region, where nearly 500,000 homes and businesses can already order ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.
Following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – including MAP Group and Telent - were chosen by Openreach to support the upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations
Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for the West 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 the world.
“Just last month we announced 82 rural and hard to reach locations across the West Midlands were to benefit, so it’s great that we’re able to reveal another huge broadband boost for the region with these additional locations.
“The latest details and timescales are available on our website as the build planning progresses.”
The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country by the end of 2026.
Openreach is already building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK, having made the technology available to more than 5 million homes and business so far. Openreach plays an important role across the West Midlands region. More than 2,700 of our people live and work here. Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the West Midlands to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £4.5 billion boost to the local economy.
This short video below explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.