Folkestone and Hythe Set for Ultrafast Broadband Transformation as Openreach Begins Build

Folkestone and Hythe are on the brink of a broadband revolution as Openreach embarks on a project to deliver ultrafast broadband to the region. This initiative will provide residents and businesses with access to some of the fastest and most reliable broadband services in the UK.

The Full Fibre broadband upgrade, touted as a once-in-a-generation development, will empower thousands of local people and businesses by enabling them to connect multiple devices at gigabit-capable speeds. This advancement promises to facilitate online trade and competitiveness for years to come.

Engineers have recently commenced the build, with plans to reach the majority of local homes and businesses over the next 12 to 18 months. Full Fibre broadband offers more reliable, resilient, and future-proof connectivity. It boasts fewer faults, more predictable and consistent speeds, and sufficient capacity to meet the ever-growing demands for data.

Residents in Folkestone and Hythe can look forward to a multitude of online services and entertainment options, including seamless streaming and smooth online gaming experiences. Businesses, too, can operate with confidence, knowing that their broadband connection will support critical day-to-day tasks such as video calls, banking, and customer interactions via social media platforms.

Kieran Wines, Regional Partnership Director for Openreach, emphasized the significance of this infrastructure upgrade. He mentioned that it will bring more engineering teams, equipment, and vans to the towns. However, Openreach is working closely with Kent County Council to minimize disruptions. The company plans to utilize its existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks, new street furniture, and disturbance wherever possible. But in some areas, new poles, underground ducts, and fibre cables may be necessary to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Wines also highlighted Openreach’s use of cutting-edge technology, such as tiny underground cameras, to inspect ducts for blockages, reducing the need for street excavation.

Folkestone and Hythe are part of Openreach’s balanced build across the South East, covering over 200 rural and coastal exchange areas. The goal is to ensure that progress is evenly distributed, enabling people across the South East to access fast and reliable broadband effortlessly, ultimately contributing to a multi-billion pound economic boost.

Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, praised Openreach’s investment in the region’s digital infrastructure. He recognized that ultrafast connectivity will benefit individuals, families, and businesses, particularly those supporting the local visitor economy.

Openreach’s new ultrafast Full Fibre network in the South East already reaches over one million properties. The company’s ambitious plans involve rolling out the new technology to 25 million homes by the end of 2026. Thousands of residents in 150 exchange areas across the region already have access, with investment planned in 189 other local locations.

The team involved in the Hythe build comprises Openreach’s in-house engineering force, including newly-trained recruits. Morrison Telecom Services, an Openreach build partner, is also contributing to the investment in Folkestone. Patrick Carolan, Managing Director of Morrison Telecom Services, expressed their commitment to delivering faster and more reliable broadband with minimal disruption. Carolan thanked local residents for their understanding as they work to establish the new ultrafast broadband network.

Jonny Rae

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