Householders in difficult-to-reach Peterborough villages to get high speed internet link

Hundreds of homes in villages around Peterborough are to get access to ultrafast internet access.

By Paul Grinnell
Friday, 28th May 2021, 6:20 am
Openreach training facility in Peterborough EMN-180321-153011009
Openreach training facility in Peterborough EMN-180321-153011009

Residents of Castor, Thorney, Ramsey, Wansford, Manea, Newborough, Wansford, Warboys and Wisbech St Mary will be among 40,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire to benefit from a new move to bring the rapid communications link to out-of-the-way communities.

The initiative has been launched by Openreach which is looking to upgrade 26 exchanges across the county over the next five years.

Openreach, which has its engineering training school at Saville Road, in Peterborough, says the new connections will mean fewer homes and businesses needing taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.

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It will also help the Government to achieve its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of the country by 2025.

Just three months ago, the Government announced it was investing £5 billion to put hundreds of homes and businesses in ‘hard-to-reach’ areas of Peterborough among some of the first to benefit from its superfast broadband initiative.

It is estimated that connecting everyone in the East of England to full fibre will create a £5.4 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach’s new broadband plans include an extension to its biggest ever recruitment drive, with a further 1,000 new roles being created in 2021.

That is on top of the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December last year – of which about 295 were in the East of England.

It will mean that by the end of the year, Openreach will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles since 2017/18.

Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional director for Cambridgeshire, said: “Building a new Ultrafast broadband network across the East of England 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.

He added: “We’ll publish further location details and timescales on our website as the detailed surveys and planning are completed and the build progresses.”