Northern Ireland has some of the highest full-fibre coverage of any area in the UK and many of its households are already taking advantage of gigabit-capable broadband, according to new data from Openreach.
Openreach recently welcomed its 100,000th full-fibre customer in Northern Ireland: the Tullyraine Veterinary Clinic in Drumneath
Homes and businesses reached by Openreach’s FTTP can sign up to broadband packages with symmetrical speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) through partner ISPs, including BT, Vodafone, TalkTalk, EE, and Zen Internet.
Garret Kavanagh, Director of Openreach in Northern Ireland, said: “We feel extremely proud to have connected our 100,000th customer to this life-changing technology. Building the next generation of broadband has been and will continue to be transformational for Northern Ireland.
“I’d like to commend the efforts of our 1,000 strong team as it is their dedication, expertise and desire to consistently deliver the best results for our customers that has ensured the region is getting the digital infrastructure it needs,” he added.
Openreach is well on track to meet its goal of covering 75% of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland (or around 610,00 premises) by March 2022.
At its most recent update in April, FTTP coverage in Northern Ireland stood at 65% or around 530,000. Thinkbroadband ballparks its coverage as of December 2021 at 71.88% or around 585,000 premises.
That 1,000-strong team has been connecting over 3,500 new premises in Northern Ireland each week. Its recent work is being undergirded by £130 million investment by Openreach in the region’s broadband infrastructure.
“Our investment in the overall infrastructure of £130 million between 2021 and 2022 will continue to drive the build forward and open up endless opportunities as more and more customers… connect to our future-proof broadband network,” Kavanagh said.
Openreach’s build has gone a long way to making Northern Ireland the best nation in the UK for gigabit coverage. According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations report, released earlier this month, gigabit-capable broadband coverage in Northern Ireland stood at 76% in September, compared to 51% in Scotland, 46% in England, and just 36% in Wales. The government aims to see gigabit coverage across the UK reach 85% by 2025.
To help deliver that goal, Openreach will spend £15 billion to connect 25 million UK premises to full-fibre by December 2026. Openreach will be buoyed by strong take-up figures in Northern Ireland—already an estimated 17%.
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