Bridging the Digital Divide: Openreach Invests Millions to Propel Exeter into Ultrafast Broadband Era

Openreach has spearheaded a significant digital transformation in Exeter, investing over £15 million to provide more than 50,000 homes and businesses in the town with access to some of the fastest and most reliable broadband services in Europe. Despite this massive technological leap, a substantial number of residents have yet to make the switch to the new ultrafast and ultra-reliable Full Fibre network.

The Full Fibre network, offering speeds up to 16 times faster than the average UK broadband connection, and five times more reliable than the outdated copper-based network, is now a reality in Exeter. However, the onus lies on residents to initiate the upgrade process by placing orders with their preferred providers. Openreach’s network supports an extensive array of providers, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Zen, ensuring residents have ample choice and competitive deals.

Martin Williams, Openreach’s Partnership Director for the West, emphasized the transformative impact of Full Fibre on businesses, providing them with a competitive edge, and enhancing connectivity for families and home-workers.

While the Full Fibre network promises a host of benefits, from seamless streaming to smooth online gaming experiences, it also underpins day-to-day business-critical tasks such as video calls, online banking, and customer interactions.

To encourage the adoption of this groundbreaking technology, Exeter residents can visit to check their eligibility for the upgrade. Williams urged residents, even those content with their existing services, to explore the possibilities of upgrading, as Full Fibre represents the future of broadband, offering the best user experience and exceptional value for money.

Beyond individual benefits, a report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) indicates that connecting the entire south-west region to Full Fibre broadband could inject a staggering £4.3 billion into the local economy. This economic boost would be driven by smarter working practices, improved public services, and increased opportunities for emerging local businesses. The report further outlines the potential to reintegrate 42,000 individuals into the workforce through enhanced connectivity, fostering entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses. As Exeter stands at the forefront of this broadband revolution, the call to embrace Full Fibre resonates as an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and propel the town into a future of enhanced connectivity and economic growth.

Jonny Rae

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