Providing faster internet for residents
Over the last 12 months we delivered full-fibre capability to 970 homes, building on the 127 we already had, which means that just over 16% of households are able to purchase a full-fibre broadband service. This year we are aiming to achieve a minimum of a further 950 homes.
In April 2019, we entered into an agreement with a company called Community Fibre, (www.communityfibre.co.uk), to install its pure fibre-optic cabling to some of our blocks in their areas of operation. A key aim of Government is to have a nationwide full-fibre network by 2033. Full-fibre broadband is currently available to around 10% of UK households compared with 99% in South Korea, who lead the way.
Much of current advertising for fibre, as seen on TV, can be misleading as the network is only part fibre also relying on copper cabling which can lead to inconsistent speeds and slow-downs when multiple people are using the same network in the same neighbourhood or in the same household.
Why have we entered this agreement?
Current research indicates that fast, reliable, broadband is increasingly seen as an essential utility and, where possible, we want to maximise choice for residents and provide access to full-fibre.
Research also shows that some private sector renters are turning down properties that do not have access to good quality broadband and that full-fibre can add value to properties that have access to it.
The current Coronavirus crisis has highlighted the long-term importance of reliable broadband to more and more people for work, entertainment and staying in touch with family and friends.
Where we are now?
Community Fibre do not cover all of our areas so we are also working with Hyperoptic and Openreach on one-off projects to expand our reach and deliver full-fibre to more of our residents, either to the property or to the home.
Openreach are upgrading some of their network to bring fibre to the property which allows any broadband provider to utilise this in the future. Community Fibre and Hyperoptic bring full-fibre to the home and sell their full-fibre product directly to home occupiers who want to buy a service.