Leading housebuilder boosts broadband for Devon homes after cementing deal with Openreach
Hundreds of households in Devon are set to see their broadband speeds soar thanks to a new partnership between housebuilder Redrow Homes and Openreach, Britain’s digital network business. Around 350 properties at Redrow’s Bishops Court development at Exeter, and about 300 at Warren Grove and Warren Farm, Dawlish Warren, will be gaining access to superfast broadband speeds up to 80Mbps – which is more than double the UK average broadband speed – where previously their typical speeds were less than 2Mbps. The co-funded deal, which will see Openreach investing alongside Redrow Homes, will include around 3000 premises on housing developments across England and Wales bringing fibre broadband to the first tranche of residents by early October next year.
A recent surveyby Redrow revealed that 98 per cent of people believe high-speed broadband comes is the most important factor for social well-being in their community – second only to doctors’ surgeries. Redrow Homes chief executive, John Tutte, said: “When these homes at Exeter and Dawlish Warren were first planned – they were not within the scope of any commercial or government investment plans for fibre broadband. We saw the potential of a national co-funding agreement with Openreach for homes we’d previously built that had lower than average broadband speeds.
We wanted to improve our customers’ experience in homes that don’t have the benefit of full fibre technology. “The results from our recent survey reflect the fact that high-speed broadband is becoming a must-have for home buyers who will continue to demand faster and better broadband connections, and we wanted to ensure that our customers weren’t left behind.” Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure delivery at Openreach, added: “I’m delighted to see customers in Devon benefitting from this initiative, some of whom have struggled with lower than average speeds in the past.
The success of this agreement shows the power of working together in partnership to find a solution to make high-speed broadband available for these customers. “We are open to replicating this approach with other developers by looking with them at their developments over the past few years, and offering a competitive cost where they want to improve the broadband speeds of customers they have sold houses to.” All future Redrow homes will benefit from full fibre FTTP technology delivering ultrafast speed as standard, but homes at Bishops Court, Exeter, and Warren Grove and Warren Farm, Dawlish Warren, were built before Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology was widely available free of charge to developers.
Openreach now has an agreement in place with the UK Government and the Home Builders Federation to provide ultrafast fibre broadband infrastructure free of charge to all new housing developments of 30 properties or more. In addition, Openreach has teamed up with property firms across the UK to ensure new homeowners get instant access to their new high-speed broadband on the day they move in. A new ‘framework agreement’** means Openreach is kept up-to-date by developers as homes and businesses are being built, and told when they are due to be completed, so that the ultrafast fibre network can be built in harmony with construction on the site.
More than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast broadband speeds today and Openreach is working on hundreds of similar fibre partnership programmes across the country to bring faster internet access to even more homes and businesses. People can check if fibre is available at their home or business by entering their postcode or landline number into the fibre checker on Openreach website [openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen] and, if it isn’t, you can find out how to help bring superfast broadband to your community by visiting communityfibre.openreach.co.uk ENDS
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* List of Redrow developments to benefit from fibre-to-the-cabinet technology;
- Throne Road in Rowley Regis, West Midlands;
- Cawston Meadows in Dunchurch, Warwickshire;
- Park View in Hinckley, Leicestershire;
- Hamilton Gardens, in Leicester,
- Warren Grove & Warren Farm in Dawlish, Devon;
- Bishops Court in Exeter, Devon;
- Claro Road in Harrogate, Yorkshire;
- Woodlands in Horsforth Vale, Yorkshire;
- Saxon Grange within Sherburn in Elmet, Yorkshire;
- Manor View in Treharris, Wales;
- The Grange in Wenvoe, Wales;
- Southbank in Newton Kyme, Yorkshire;
- Ashdown Vale in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
** Developers can add sites to be tracked in the framework at an early stage, for instance when land is purchased and well ahead of planning permission being granted, so the whole of the developer’s estate is under review up to three years ahead of when properties will be finished. About Openreach Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.
We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected. We work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 26.5 million premises.
We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20. We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than GBP11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast.
And we’re continuing to take that network further – making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week. Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.
For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of GBP5.1bn.