Business

260,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland can now connect to full fibre broadband

Adrian Hamilton (Openreach engineer), Mairead Meyer (Openreach director in Northern Ireland), Ulster Rugby chief executive Jonny Petrie and Jenny McLernon (Openreach engineer) celebrate the four-year sponsorship of Ulster Rugby and the launch of Openreach's latest marketing campaign

MORE than 260,000 homes and businesses in the north can now enjoy the benefits of new ultra-fast, ultra-reliable internet access as a result of the roll out of new future-proof fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband technology, according to Openreach, the engineering team that builds, maintains and manages the network.

This milestone means nearly 30 per cent of premises now have access to faster full fibre broadband, keeping Openreach on track to ensure almost 40 per cent of premises are fully fibre enabled by the end of March. This year alone, 187,000 premises have been included in the region-wide build programme.

In the Belfast area 120,000 premises can now connect to Openreach full fibre broadband, which is more than 60 per cent of homes and businesses.

With speeds available of up to 1 gbps – enough bandwidth for a family of four to all stream ultra HD or 4k quality movies or TV simultaneously, without waiting or buffering – these upgraded fibre connections are helping to ensure Northern Ireland has a reliable, future-proof and dependable service that will be a platform for economic growth in the region.

Openreach's regional director Mairead Meyer said: “We're delighted to have reached this important milestone, enabling even more homes and businesses right across NI to take advantage of improved broadband speeds.

“We're building a network that delivers more than just speed. Full fibre broadband will provide Northern Ireland with a future-proof and consistent service that will help renew towns and communities across the region and supports its position as a leading digital economy.”

Openreach (www.openreach.co.uk/ni) has also unveiled its biggest ever marketing campaign in Northern Ireland. It celebrates the company's new four-year sponsorship deal with Ulster Rugby and highlights the role it and its 750 strong team, play in building the network that connects us to each other.

Mairead added: “We're incredibly proud to unveil our new marketing campaign this week, with a TV ad featuring Ulster Rugby and two of our Openreach engineers.

“The campaign, a first for us in Northern Ireland, celebrates the importance of connections, from the families and friends that come together at weekend sports events, the coaches and communities that help support young people, to our very own engineers who play such a crucial role in building the broadband network that keeps us connected.

“As one of the new shirt sponsors of Ulster Rugby, we worked with the club, along with groups from across the region and with our own engineers to tell this story and took inspiration from some real-life anecdotes and personal experiences to create our campaign.

“Using real life stories as inspiration allowed us to bring this campaign to life and helped us to show how connections are at the heart of everything we do. We really are stronger when we're connected.”

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