Fibre broadband upgrade for New Forest towns and villages including Ringwood, Lymington, Bransgore, Lyndhurst, Fawley, Milford and Fordingbridge
PLANNING for the installation of full-fibre broadband for seven New Forest communities is under way as part of a project that will create hundreds of new jobs.
Exchanges serving Ringwood, Lymington, Bransgore, Lyndhurst, Fawley, Milford and Fordingbridge are to be upgraded as part of delivering better broadband to over 60,000 properties in Hampshire.
Kieran Wines, Openreach’s regional director for the south-east, said: “Building a new ultrafast broadband network across the south-east 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 – second only to HS2 in terms of investment. 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.
He added: “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."
The company’s updated plan will be fundamental to the government achieving its target of delivering gigabit-capable broadband to 85% of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by parent company BT Group.
The plan also includes an extension to the company’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with 1,000 new roles being created in 2021 on top of the 2,500 jobs announced in December.
This means since 2017 the company will have created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles. Training includes a major investment in 11 new regional training centres, including one in Southampton which is helping to equip and skill thousands of new engineers.