Call for Middleton community to support 'ultrafast broadband initiative' with Government vouchers

Date published: 16 May 2024

Broadband giant Openreach has urged people living and working in an area close to Middleton to get behind what they describe as an 'exciting' bid to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to around 120 local homes and businesses.

Openreach insists that by applying for free Government broadband vouchers, the community can secure the new technology and start enjoying the benefits in the next 12-18 months.

Openreach has identified the homes and businesses, mostly on the fringes of the town in the vicinity of Birch Mill Business Centre, Heywood Old Road, Whittle Lane and Old Hall Lane, as being within scope for Full Fibre installation.

It is now urging local people to take the next step by applying for and pooling together free Government Gigabit Vouchers to help fund the build.

If enough people sign up, they will join thousands of other homes and businesses in the area who already have access to full fibre broadband.

Residents can check if they qualify and pledge their voucher on the Connect My Community website.

Using the vouchers, which don’t cost residents anything, enables Openreach to work with a local community to build a customised, co-funded network.

Once enough people pledge and validate their vouchers, Openreach engineers will start the build. This can take up to 12-18 months, and some properties may go live before others.

Paul Harland, Openreach’s regional engagement manager, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for people living on the outskirts of Middleton to bring all the benefits of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to their community.

“Our Fibre Community Partnership programme has meant that we’ve been able to potentially bring hundreds more communities across the UK, into our Full Fibre build plans.

"But building out the network to these harder to reach locations is still challenging – which is why it's only possible with everyone working together – you, your neighbours and Openreach.

“Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make their community one of the best-connected places in the UK.”

Once the pledge target for the scheme is reached, residents need to ensure they then validate their vouchers with the Government so that Openreach can confirm that building work can get the decision to build, the premises covered and the timeline are subject to technical survey and the correct threshold of validated vouchers being reached underway.

As part of the funding conditions, residents will be asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available, and confirm that they are connected.
Full fibre technology provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; meaning fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands.

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