Project Stratrum goes live with first fibre broadband customers connected in Co Tyrone

Economy Minister Diane Dodds speaks with Tara Hamill, one of the first beneficiaries of Project Stratum, and chief operating officer for Fibrus Networks, Conor Harrison.
Ryan McAleer

THE first customers have been connected to the £165 million broadband scheme to improve connectivity in rural areas of the north.

Fibrus Networks was awarded the tender for Project Stratum in November 2020. It will eventually provide full-fibre broadband to around 76,000 premises, with most of the funding coming from the £150m secured through the DUP’s confidence and supply arrangement with Theresa May’s government in 2017.

Last month the Department for the Economy (DfE) said it would seek additional funding from London to extend Project Stratum to a further 2,500 premises left out of its current scope.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said that three months after awarding the tender to Fibrus, the first optical line termination (OLT) in Coalisland is now live with its first customers connected.

Ms Dodds said she had spoken to some of the first beneficiaries of the broadband project.

“I know there are many communities, especially in rural areas, which have been waiting a long time for improvements in their broadband speeds,” she said.

“These first connections demonstrate Fibrus Networks have the capability and capacity to deliver full fibre solutions, with speeds of up to one gigabit per second, to many rural premises transforming the broadband connectivity landscape for individuals and businesses across Northern Ireland.”

Fibrus Networks’ chief operating officer, Conor Harrison said: “The logistical planning and immediate execution of this work is testament to the commitment and dedication of Fibrus, as well as the skill of our team who are equipped and ready to deliver full fibre broadband to the people of Northern Ireland.”

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