Samlesbury Nears Milestone for Ultrafast Broadband Upgrade: Openreach Appeals for Community Support

The prospect of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband looms on the horizon for Samlesbury, but the community finds itself at a crucial juncture. Openreach, the driving force behind this transformative initiative, is calling on residents and businesses in Samlesbury to rally behind securing this once-in-a-lifetime broadband upgrade.

However, the community currently stands around 35 vouchers short of the target required for the scheme to proceed. This deficit puts Samlesbury at risk of missing out on joining the ranks of over 36,000 homes and businesses across the South Ribble area that already enjoy access to full fibre broadband.

The initiative relies on free Government broadband vouchers, a key resource for ensuring faster speeds and enhanced reliability. Openreach stresses the urgency of residents applying for these vouchers to propel Samlesbury into the era of ultrafast technology.

Funding for this initiative is facilitated through the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, complemented by the deployment of cutting-edge broadband signal boosting technology. This combination not only augments the reach of the full fibre network but also brings the promise of ultrafast technology to previously underserved remote rural communities like Samlesbury.

Openreach has identified Samlesbury as an area within the scope for Full Fibre and encourages locals to take the next step by applying for and pooling together free Government Gigabit Vouchers to contribute to the build.

Residents can verify their eligibility and pledge their vouchers on the Connect My Community website. Importantly, these vouchers incur no cost for residents but play a pivotal role in enabling Openreach to collaborate with the community and construct a customized, co-funded network. By combining these vouchers, the ultrafast, ultra-reliable network can be extended to premises in outlying rural areas that might not be covered by private investment.

Paul Harland, Openreach’s regional engagement manager, expresses enthusiasm for the initiative but highlights the need for around 35 more participants to sign up and pledge their vouchers to ensure the scheme’s success. The Fibre Community Partnership programme, according to Harland, holds the potential to incorporate hundreds more communities across the UK into Full Fibre build plans. However, the challenge lies in extending the network to harder-to-reach locations, emphasizing the necessity of collective effort from residents, neighbors, and Openreach.

Harland underscores that every pledged voucher contributes to making Samlesbury one of the best-connected places in the UK. Openreach’s substantial £15 billion investment aims to bring full fibre broadband to 25 million homes, over six million of which are situated in the toughest third of the UK. Harland acknowledges that such a massive upgrade requires collaboration and welcomes the vital support from the government.

Once the pledge target is met, residents must validate their vouchers with the Government, allowing Openreach to commence the building process. Residents, as part of the funding conditions, commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available, confirming their connection to the digital future.

Jonny Rae

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