It means fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.
A total of 12 exchanges across West Yorkshire are being upgraded, with the majority of homes and businesses in Ripponden, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, set to benefit from what will be a massive nationwide, five-year feat of civil engineering.
The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country.
The plans also include an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December 2020 – of which around 130 were in Yorkshire and the Humber.
This means that by the end of 2021, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional director for the North, said: “Building a new Ultrafast broadband network across Yorkshire and the Humber is a massive challenge and some parts of the region will inevitably require public funding. But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses. And with investments from other network builders, we’d hope to see that shrink further.
“This is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits. We’re also delighted to continue bucking the national trend by creating more jobs in the region, with apprentices joining in their droves to start their careers as engineers.
“We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can also check what’s already available which includes the tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Yorkshire and the Humber that can already access Full Fibre.”