Openreach said it plans to bring full fibre broadband – which is faster and more reliable – to at least three million more homes and businesses, including 360,000 across the south east and more than 60,000 in Hampshire.
A total of 22 exchanges across the county are being upgraded, with the homes and businesses in places such as Rowlands Castle, Bishop’s Waltham, Alresford and Twyford set to benefit from the nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering.
Connie Dixon, Openreach’s regional director for the south east, said: ‘Building a new ultrafast broadband network across the south east is a massive challenge and some parts of the region will inevitably require public funding.
‘But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other network builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.
‘This is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project – second only to HS2 in terms of investment. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of full fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and
international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits.
‘We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more jobs in the region, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers as engineers.
‘We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can also check what’s already available
on our website - tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the south east can already access full fibre.’
The company’s updated plan will be fundamental to the 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 company, BT Group.
The plan also includes an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December 2020 – of which
341 were in the south east.
This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.
Full list of Hampshiore locations:
Alresford, Hook, Ringwood, Bassett, Liphook, Rowlands Castle, Bishop’s Waltham, Lymington, Turgis Green, Bransgore, Lyndhurst, Twyford, Dummer, Medstead, Wallop, Fawley, Milford-on-sea, Whitchurch, Fordingbridge, Odiham, Hartley Wintney, and Overton.