Openreach reveals 98 locations across UK set for 'ultrafast' internet speeds upgrade - including one area in Northampton

The upgrade will involve moving from copper wire to full fibre, which will provide ultrafast speeds and improve reliability

By Logan MacLeod
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 8:15 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 1:20 pm

BT-owned Openreach has revealed 98 areas across the UK where internet speeds will be upgraded - and one location is in Northampton.

The company plans to move away from ageing copper connections to fibre broadband, which will provide ultrafast speeds and improve reliability.

Openreach has named Duston in the list to receive an upgrade, which involves switching from traditional copper landlines to ultrafast full-fibre connections.

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Openreach is set to upgrade the internet network in Duston

More than 950,000 homes are set to benefit within the 98 areas selected.

An Openreach spokesman said: “Our engineers are working really hard to make ultrafast full fibre broadband as widely available as possible.

“We’ve already started building the network here in Duston and people living and working nearby will see an increase in activity in the coming months as we reach more properties.

"Full fibre is not only faster, but it’s more reliable and future proof for generations to come.

"People can check when full fibre has reached them by checking on the Openreach website. When it has, they should get in touch with their service provider (the company they pay their phone/broadband bill to) to request an upgrade. They do not switch to the new network automatically."

Across Northamptonshire, Openreach’s full fibre network has already reached more than 70,000 homes and businesses. Tens of thousands have upgraded and are already benefitting.

What are the benefits?

The Openreach spokesman said: "With Full Fibre you'll be able to stream 8k TV or ultra HD on multiple devices all at the same time without buffering or interruptions.

"Working from home will be a breeze, enabling a million people to return to work and help the environment by saving 230 million commuting trips too.

"Increased reliability will give peace of mind to vulnerable and elderly people who need to be able to make emergency calls. And cheaper and faster delivery of public health care, education and other services will benefit communities and societies as a whole."

Government's aim

The Government’s target is for at least 85 percent of UK premises to have access to gigabit-broadband by 2025.

The Government said in August 2021 that it was 'increasingly confident' that the 85 percent target could be exceeded.

According to the Government, 96 percent of UK premises have a superfast broadband connection available (download speed of at least 30 Mbps), provided mostly by part-fibre, part-copper networks.

A Government spokesperson said: "Although superfast broadband is sufficient for most household needs, the demand for services that use a lot of data, such as online video streaming, is increasing.

"The coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted the need for widely available and reliable digital connectivity. Around 1.5 million premises do not have a superfast broadband connection available."

Openreach has already connected around six million premises across the UK to full-fibre broadband (that is roughly 47,000 homes connected every week) as part of its plan to upgrade 25 million homes across the UK by December 2026.