Tens of thousands of homes in both Cardiff and Liverpool are in the final stages of being connected to ultrafast broadband under the first phase of Openreach’s ‘fibre first’ programme, Openreach managing director, Kim Mears announced during visits to both cities this week.
The work is part of the incumbent’s plans to make new, more reliable, and more resilient fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology available to three million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020 (see Openreach fibre first to ‘fire the starting pistol’ on major infrastructure upgrade and Huawei and Nokia help Openreach deliver ‘fibre first’).
Openreach says that the technology provides additional capacity for data-hungry services and applications, such as virtual reality gaming and smart homes. Whilst the higher upload and download speeds will help more efficient operation. It also adds even more reliability and resilience to the network, meaning things are less likely to go wrong in the event of unforeseen circumstances or extreme weather and conditions.
Ian Price, CBI Wales director said of the work in Cardiff: ‘Digital innovation will continue apace and no sector or business will be immune to the changes to come. Experience tells us that technological advance has the potential to create jobs and redefine roles. Those firms who innovate now will be the shapers of tomorrow’s economy.’
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson added: ‘A world-class city deserves world-class digital infrastructure, and we believe full-fibre technology will be key to unlocking the long-term productivity of businesses in this region. Openreach have chosen Liverpool because of our efforts to work with them on making this investment possible. And we will make this work, because the benefits are massive for our city. Our people are creative, dynamic, energetic and bursting with ideas for business and culture, and we need the fibre connections that will let this happen.’
Cardiff and Liverpool are part of nine UK cities – including Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, London and Manchester – to make up the first phase of the fibre first programme, which aims to connect up to 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs with FTTP networks.