Like many other residents, I have been working from home in Maldon during lockdown and have relied on a fast broadband connection. It is excellent news that homes in Maldon are now to be upgraded to Full Fibre to the Premises which will result in even faster and more reliable speeds.

Openreach is announcing plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable ‘Full Fibre’ (FTTP) broadband available to more than three million homes and businesses in some of the UK’s hardest to serve communities. This includes Maldon.

Work is expected to get under way in many of the announced locations within the next 12-18 months although, due to the size of the build, some places will see work continue into 2024.

These locations will be upgraded by Openreach, without taxpayer subsidy, and it’s hoped having access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe will boost their post-Covid economic recovery. The announcement follows a new consultation from industry regulator Ofcom, published today, where it proposes that such a build commitment from Openreach is sufficient for them to extend the fibre enablers previously set out in their WFTMR consultation for Area 2 to Area 3.  This will contribute to the right investment conditions for Area 3 being in place. Ofcom has estimated that there are 9.6 million homes and businesses situated in this final third of the country.

The build to 3.2m UK premises forms part of a massive £12 billion investment which will support Openreach’s ambition to build ‘Full Fibre’ infrastructure to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s – delivering significant economic, social and environmental benefits for rural and urban communities, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place.