The Rt Hon Victoria Prentis KC MP visited Openreach engineers in Banbury to witness first-hand the innovative engineering techniques being used to deliver ultrafast Full Fibre broadband across her constituency.
She was given a tour of the work, which has already reached nearly 60% of all homes and businesses in the exchange area – through an investment of £4.7 million by Openreach – as well as tens of thousands more in other locations across Oxfordshire.
Banbury was included in Openreach’s full-fibre build in July 2020. Since then, engineers have been working there and in other places across the county, including Thame, Wantage, Bicester and Witney, and will continue throughout 2023.
Meeting with the MP, the Openreach team was able to explain how the build in urban areas is happening alongside rural and coastal work.
Mrs Prentis visited the local exchange to look at where the Openreach network starts. She learned more about fibreoptics and how Full Fibre is future-proofing connections for decades to come.
Victoria Prentis KC, MP for Banbury, said: “With my Digital Connectivity Review ongoing, it was good to have the opportunity to see the progress that Openreach is making in bringing Full Fibre to Banbury.
“This infrastructure upgrade is providing our community with faster and more reliable broadband – supporting local businesses and keeping residents connected.
“The commercial rollout by providers such as Openreach, alongside the Government’s investment through Project Gigabit, has already brought gigabit-capable broadband to 69% of UK premises this Parliament – including many homes across North Oxfordshire.
It was great to get the chance to meet the engineers who are building the network. The whole Openreach team is doing a brilliant job, and I look forward to seeing the benefits this investment will bring locally.”
The visit was hosted by Kasam Hussain, Openreach’s regional partnership manager, who said: “We welcomed the opportunity to give Mrs Prentis a step-by-step demonstration of our technology.
“Our engineers work hard every day to keep communities across Oxfordshire and the wider region connected, and it was great to be able to share the challenges and realities of delivering this technology.”
Openreach is building Full Fibre faster, at a lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK. With download speeds of 1Gbps, it’s up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better-quality video calls and higher-resolution movie streaming.
You can also use multiple devices at once without experiencing slowdown – so more people in your household can get online at once. You won’t experience stuttering, buffering or dropouts even if the rest of your family is making video calls, streaming box sets or gaming online at the same time.
Full Fibre is also less affected by peak time congestion – so you can enjoy your Saturday night blockbuster in 4K without the dreaded buffering screen.
Openreach is working to build and connect customers to the company’s ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband network – which is on track to reach 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026.
Residents and businesses can use Openreach’s fibre checker to see what infrastructure is available at their address. Once they’ve put their address in, they’ll be able to see a list of providers working in their area and choose the package that works for them.
Openreach plays an important role across the South East. More than 4,800 of our people live and work here. Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South East to Full Fibre.
It estimated this would create a £8.7 billion boost to the local economy. This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is, and you can find out more about the Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans on the Openreach website.