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Nottingham becomes the first East Midlands city to benefit from world leading broadband boost

L-R: County Council Leader Kay Cutts, Openreach MD Kim Mears and Openreach Fibre Engineer Reese Orton

Nottingham is the first place in the East Midlands to be included in Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme, where fibre optic cables take reliable, ultrafast broadband right to people’s front doors.

Thousands of homes and businesses in Gedling, where the work starts, are set to benefit from the new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, thanks to Openreach, the UK’s largest telephone and broadband network.

As well as adding even more reliability and resilience to broadband connections and making them less likely to drop out, FTTP offers speeds of up to 1 Gbps – about 24 times faster than the current UK average of 46Mbps.

This provides even greater capacity for multiple fixed and mobile devices and things like on-demand video, Virtual Reality gaming and smart home apps. The fibre connection will future proof homes and businesses for decades to come and ensure that the city remains competitive on the national and world stage.

Welcoming the announcement, Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said:

“Our partnership work with Openreach through the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme in recent years has helped make us one of the best connected counties in the country, with more than 98 percent of homes and businesses able to access superfast broadband.

“Being part of the first Fibre City roll out will ensure Nottinghamshire remains at the forefront of digital infrastructure, with all the economic and social benefits that provides. Having access to the fastest and most reliable broadband is not only great for today, but future-proofed for generations to come. I am delighted that Openreach is supporting our ambitions for growth in Nottinghamshire.”

Nottingham joins a number of other locations across the UK – including Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool – which are benefitting from the first wave of Openreach’s multi-million-pound ‘Fibre First’ investment.

Kim Mears, Openreach’s Managing Director, said:

“This is the first step of our Fibre First journey in the East Midlands, as we get on with building the infrastructure the UK needs to stay ahead in the global digital economy. So far across the country, our engineers have built full fibre broadband technology to more than 650,000 premises, and we’re reaching thousands of new homes and businesses every week. This announcement in Nottingham is building towards our target of reaching three million premises by the end of 2020 and we want to get to 10 million by the mid-2020s.”

In Gedling, Kim Mears met with the Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, to give a behind-the-scenes look at some of the engineering work.

As well as spending time with Openreach engineers working on the programme, the County Council Leader also took the opportunity to fuse together two pieces of fibre cable, using state-of-the-art splicing equipment that’s being used across the area.

Gedling’s MP, Vernon Coaker also welcomed the announcement:

“This is fantastic news for Nottingham, and I’m thrilled that my constituency of Gedling is leading the way. The way we use the internet is changing all the time, more and more of our communities and businesses rely on an effective broadband connection. This announcement is great in terms of faster and more reliable broadband, but also for the new jobs and the long-term boost it will bring to the area.”

The announcement is a further boost for the East Midlands, which earlier this year heard it would benefit from Openreach’s unprecedented recruitment drive: more than 120 new trainee engineers are being employed across the region to help deliver ultrafast broadband.

The rollout of FTTP builds on the work of the county council’s Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire partnership with Openreach, which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 75,000 homes and businesses across the county.

Find out more about Openreach’s First First programme at: openreach.co.uk/fibrefirst.