Openreach Commences Ultrafast Broadband Project in Ashington

Openreach has initiated construction on a groundbreaking ultrafast broadband network in Ashington, offering local residents and businesses access to some of the fastest and most reliable internet connectivity in Europe.

This substantial Full Fibre broadband upgrade marks a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Ashington. It will empower thousands of individuals and enterprises to connect numerous devices at gigabit-capable speeds, boosting online trade and long-term competitiveness.

Openreach’s chief engineers have commenced work this month, with plans to extend coverage to the majority of local homes and businesses within the next 12 to 18 months.

Full Fibre broadband promises a robust, resilient, and future-proof connectivity experience. It is characterized by fewer faults, consistent speeds, and ample capacity to accommodate growing data requirements.

With this infrastructure in place, residents can look forward to a plethora of online services and entertainment options, including seamless streaming and smooth online gaming. Businesses, on the other hand, can operate with the confidence that their broadband service will seamlessly support essential day-to-day operations, including video calls, banking, and customer engagement through social media platforms.

Robert Thorburn, regional partnership director for Scotland and the North, stated, “We’re bringing ultrafast broadband to Ashington and we want to let local people know what to expect. This is a major infrastructure upgrade, so there will be more engineering teams, equipment, and vans around town, and we’re working closely with Northumberland County Council to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Openreach aims to leverage its existing network of ducts and poles whenever possible to minimize roadworks and disturbances. However, some areas may necessitate the installation of new poles, underground ducts, and fibre cables to ensure that households are included in the upgrade. Innovative technologies, including tiny underground cameras for duct inspection, are being employed to minimize street disruptions.

Thorburn added, “Ashington is part of our balanced build across Northumberland which includes more than 25 towns and villages. We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of Northumberland can be online effortlessly and build opportunities in their community. Connecting everyone in the county to our fastest and most reliable broadband would result in a multi-billion pound economic boost.”

Local residents can stay informed about the project’s progress and check service availability in their area through

Cllr Richard Wearmouth, deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council and cabinet member for corporate services, encouraged Ashington residents to make the most of this opportunity, saying, “It’s fantastic to see the fastest broadband speeds becoming available to more residents and businesses across the County. It’s no secret that better internet speeds can unlock a whole host of benefits and opportunities for both work and leisure purposes.”

Openreach’s ultrafast Full Fibre network already serves over 40,000 properties in Northumberland. The company’s ambitious plan aims to extend this technology to 25 million homes and businesses by the end of 2026. Numerous communities in Northumberland, including Alnmouth, Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth, and Holy Island, already benefit from this technology, with further investment planned in locations like Amble, Morpeth, Longframlington, Shilbottle, and Seahouses.

Jonny Rae

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