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Broadband boost for Sunderland and South Tyneside as Openreach improve speed for hundreds of homes

Press Release   •   Jan 10, 2018 09:00 GMT

Hundreds of homes and businesses in Sunderland and South Tyneside are set to get access to broadband speeds up to 30 times faster than the UK average*, thanks to Openreach, Britain’s digital network business.

The homes in Jarrow, Hylton, Hetton-le-Hole and Ryhope are in line to be some of the first in the UK to benefit from a new way of installing ‘full fibre’ broadband, by using the infrastructure already in place for the existing copper broadband network.

Extensive testing and trials elsewhere in the UK have shown that building over the existing network means the technology can be deployed quickly and efficiently, sometimes within weeks. And by using existing infrastructure, such as underground cable ducts, it avoids the need to dig up footpaths and driveways.

The technology is capable of providing ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps – fast enough to download a two hour HD movie in twenty five seconds or a forty five minute long HD TV programme in just five seconds.

Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure delivery at Openreach, said: “We’re investing heavily in ultrafast broadband because we’re committed to giving Britain a first class network, capable of delivering the very latest communication services for households and businesses. By using new techniques, like we will be doing here in Sunderland and South Tyneside, we have already halved the cost of delivering ‘full fibre’ infrastructure.

“Our full fibre technology is being well received by communication providers and their customers. It’s not only making faster speeds available today, but it’s a long-term investment to make sure that our network is able to meet the demands than will inevitably be placed upon in in the years ahead.”

Openreach has passed more than 770,000 premises with high speed technologies, making it the largest ultrafast network in the UK. The network is open for all communications providers - to deliver broadband services that homes and businesses buy from them.

Derek Richardson, Openreach’s programme director for the North East, said: “I’m delighted to see customers in parts of Sunderland and South Tyneside set to benefit from this initiative, some of whom have struggled with lower than average speeds in the past.

Openreach is building ‘full-fibre’ to a number of other developments across the UK using similar techniques. More than 20,000 homes and businesses are set to benefit, mostly by the end of December 2017.

This planned deployment is part of Openreach’s aim to make ultrafast speeds available to 12 million premises by the end of 2020 – of which two million is using full fibre technology.

The rollout of ‘full- fibre’ builds on the existing deployment of superfast technology across

Sunderland and South Tyneside where more than 98 per cent of homes and businesses already have access to high-speed broadband.

People can check if fibre is available at their home or business by entering their postcode or landline number into the checker on Openreach website.

About us

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest of the G20 countries.

We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

We’re owned by BT Group and independently governed. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.

In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

To find out more about us and what we do, go to openreach.co.uk.