Openreach has started work on a new ultrafast broadband network for Axminster – giving residents and businesses in the town access to some of the fastest, most reliable speeds anywhere in the UK.
Openreach said the build was ‘motoring along’, with 30 per cent of the homes and businesses in Axminster already able to order a full fibre service through a provider of their choice.
The once-in-a-generation upgrade will enable 1000s of residents and businesses living locally to connect to any platform or device at gigabit-capable speeds.
Andy Keast, Openreach chief engineer for the South West, said: “We’re bringing ultrafast broadband to Axminster and we want to let local people know what to expect.
“This is a major infrastructure upgrade, people will already have seen more engineering teams around town, but we’re working closely with East Devon District Council and Axminster Town Council to keep disruption to a minimum.
“Wherever possible, we’re using our existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks and disturbance. But there may be places where we need to install new ducts, fibre cables and poles because it’s the only way to make sure local households can be included in the upgrade.
“We’re using the latest technology, like tiny underground cameras that inspect ducts for blockages, to avoid digging up the streets where possible.”
He added: “We know that connecting everyone in the South West to our fast and reliable service would result in multi-billion-pound economic boost.
“Axminster is part of our balanced build approach, which includes dozens of rural Devon towns and villages.
“We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of the South West can work from home efficiently and build opportunities in their community.”
Axminster mayor, Councillor Jill Farrow, said, “Axminster Town Council fully understands that reliable, fast and affordable internet access is now considered a basic utility like water, gas and electricity.
“The council is delighted to be working with Openreach to promote the rollout of full fibre broadband in the town as part of a localised high-value capital project.
“We look forward to seeing the results of the scheme, both in terms of improved economic output, better social and digital engagement with residents and a welcome benefit to our students, for whom digital connectivity is a prerequisite to support their educational achievements.”
Engineers started work in Axminster town centre earlier this year and the build is expected to reach a majority of local homes and businesses over the next 12 months.
The work will be delivered with the support of Openreach’s partners, Circet, which will be supporting with initial surveys and planning of the new network.
Stephen Martin, UK CEO at Circet, said; “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Openreach to deliver a full fibre upgrade in Axminster.”
Openreach is building a new full fibre network across Devon, with Axminster named as one of the more than 80 towns, villages and cities to be upgraded.
- Find more areas where the team is building here.