Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership reaches 10k milestone

Community Fibre Partnership Lillingstone LovellImage: Lillingstone Lovell village joins Openreach's Community Fibre Partnership. Photo: courtesy of British Telecommunications plc.

Openreach said that the Lillingstone Lovell village in Buckinghamshire has joined its co-funding scheme to take the total homes and businesses benefiting from the company’s Community Fibre Partnership to 10,000.

The Community Fibre Partnership had previously connected over 900 similar projects across the UK. The programme, which is a joint funding arrangement, has been designed to help communities to provide faster fibre broadband to their homes and businesses.

While Openreach contributes some of the costs to enable the connectivity, the participating community funds the rest.

Likewise, the cost of the Lillingstone project will be covered by investment from Openreach and the residents, who are the first community to fund their contribution with vouchers as part of the £200m Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) Programme of the UK government.

Openreach said that its engineers have commenced planning and surveying work prior to building the new network to Lillingstone’s 55 premises using the latest ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology. The network, once built, will give broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is enough bandwidth for a family of four to simultaneously stream ultra HD or 4k quality movies or TV, without any waiting or buffering.

The company said that after the infrastructure is installed, Lillingstone residents can place an order for the new faster services with a service provider they wish.

According to Openreach, 930 communities across the country have now signed up to Community Fibre Partnership, of which more than 50% have switched on to high-speed broadband. The scheme can be availed by any community, and in particular, has been appealing to properties that do not find a place in any existing private or publicly subsidised upgrade schemes, said the company.

Openreach strategic infrastructure development managing director Kim Mears said: “Lillingstone Lovell is a fantastic example of how our UK-wide Community Fibre Partnership programme is bringing fast, reliable broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas, where other providers struggle to reach.

“We’ve been clear that we’ll never say no to any community that wants better, fibre broadband connectivity – and we’ll work with them to find a way forward even if the costs don’t stack up for a commercial or government-backed upgrade.”