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21/11/2017
Leading housebuilder boosts broadband for Black Country homes after cementing deal with Openreach

In addition around 1,900 new Birmingham and Black Country homes have benefitted from deal with Home Builders Federation, UK Government and Openreach to provide ultrafast broadband.

Scores of homes in the Black Country are set to see their broadband speeds soar thanks to a new partnership between housebuilder Redrow Homes and Openreach, Britain’s digital network business.

Around 150 properties at Redrow’s development in Throne Road, Rowley Regis, will be gaining access to superfast broadband with speeds up to 80Mbps – which is more than double the UK average broadband speed – where previously their typical speeds were less than 2Mbps.

The co-funded deal, which will see Openreach investing alongside Redrow Homes, will include around 3,000 premises on housing developments across England and Wales bringing fibre broadband to the first tranche of residents by early October next year.

A recent survey by Redrow revealed that 98 per cent of people believe high-speed broadband is the most important factor for social well-being in their community - second only to doctor’s surgeries.

Redrow Homes CEO John Tutte, said: “When these homes in Throne Road were first planned – they were not within the scope of any commercial or government investment plans for fibre broadband. We saw the potential of a national co-funding agreement with Openreach for homes we’d previously built that had lower than average broadband speeds. We wanted to improve our customers’ experience in homes that don’t have the benefit of full fibre technology.

“The results from our recent survey reflect the fact that high-speed broadband is becoming a must-have for home buyers who will continue to demand faster and better broadband connections, and we wanted to ensure that our customers weren’t left behind.”

Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure delivery at Openreach, added: “I’m delighted to see customers in Rowley Regis benefitting from this initiative, some of whom have struggled with lower than average speeds in the past. The success of this agreement shows the power of working together in partnership to find a solution to make high-speed broadband available for these customers.

“We are open to replicating this approach with other developers by looking with them at their developments over the past few years, and offering a competitive cost where they want to improve the broadband speeds of customers they have sold houses to.”

All future Redrow homes will benefit from full fibre FTTP technology delivering ultrafast speed as standard, but homes in Throne Road, Rowley Regis, were built before Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology was widely available free of charge to developers.

Openreach now has an agreement in place with the UK Government and the Home Builders Federation to provide ultrafast fibre broadband infrastructure free of charge to all new housing developments of 30 properties or more. Across the Black Country and Birmingham this has already benefitted nearly 1,900 homes and flats in places like Bilston, Dudley, Kings Norton, Selly Oak, West Bromwich, as well as in Birmingham city centre.

In addition, Openreach has teamed up with property firms across the UK to ensure new homeowners get instant access to their new high-speed broadband on the day they move in.

A new ‘framework agreement’ means Openreach is kept up-to-date by developers as homes and businesses are being built, and told when they are due to be completed, so that the ultrafast fibre network can be built in harmony with construction on the site.

More than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast broadband speeds today and Openreach is working on hundreds of similar fibre partnership programmes across the country to bring faster internet access to even more homes and businesses.

People can check if fibre is available at their home or business by entering their postcode or landline number into the fibre checker on Openreach website and, if it isn’t, you can find out how to help bring superfast broadband to your community by visiting communityfibre.openreach.co.uk

For further information

Enquiries about this story can be made to Emma Tennant in the regional press office on 0800 085 0660 or email: emma.tennant@bt.com

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