People living on the outskirts of Aldridge, in the West Midlands, have made an appointment with fibre broadband next year, after agreeing to join forces with Openreach. They’ve partnered with the UK’s leading network provider, which is part of BT Group, after years of experiencing slow download speeds due to their remote location.
And an injection of ultrafast broadband speeds can’t come soon enough for local resident Baldeep Kahlar, a dentist in training, who says it’ll make a huge difference to his personal and professional life: “We currently get low single figure download speeds and that today just isn’t enough to cut it. I have two young children and my parents live with my wife and I. So we use the internet a lot. But if one of the children is downloading something, nobody else can. Things grind to a halt. I am currently doing an online Master’s Degree in dentistry and the internet is vital in helping me to be able to complete my coursework. Faster broadband is going to make everything easier for everyone, including one of our neighbours who is a photographer. We cannot wait until fibre broadband is available as we’ll finally be able to ditch the 4G dongles we currently use to upload and download files.”
People living in Bella Pais Close, a small community on the outskirts of Aldridge, between Walsall and Sutton Coldfield, contacted Openreach after hearing about their Community Fibre Partnership scheme. This is where the local community make a contribution towards the cost of installing fibre broadband. Across the UK, more than 340 schemes have already been agreed, with more than 140 communities already able to benefit from faster download speeds.
And the whole process is extremely straightforward according to Baldeep: “After speaking to one of the engineers working nearby, he told me about the Community Fibre Partnership scheme, and advised me to contact Openreach. I did and they were brilliant. They really try and make the whole process as easy as possible for you. From checking to see if you are in any rollout plan, to discussing what options are available to us, and then talking through the whole process step by step. They have been great.”
The new fibre broadband network, using the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology will be capable of delivering ultrafast speeds of up to one gigabit per second. The high-speed service will be available within twelve months and residents will still be able to choose from a wide range of service providers. Due to the huge increase in download speeds, activities like streaming music, watching TV online and uploading large files will be much quicker.
Steve Haines, Managing Director for next generation access at Openreach, said: “It’s great to be able to work with communities like Bella Pais Close to find a broadband solution. More than 93 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds today, and we’re committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar projects across the UK, working in partnership with business and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers.”
People not included in any current plans for rolling out fibre broadband can visit communityfibre.bt.com to find out how to help bring fibre broadband to their local area.