Business

8,500 more rural homes in north connect to broadband says report

The £165 million contract for delivery of Project Stratum was awarded to Fibrus Networks in November 2020
Gary McDonald Business Editor

A further 8,500 premises have been added to the Project Stratum broadband intervention scheme in Northern Ireland, new figures from Ofcom show.

The additional premises include 2,500 harder-to-reach properties that were out of scope of the original contract, plus a further 6,000 premises.

The £165 million contract for delivery of Project Stratum was awarded to Fibrus Networks in November 2020. By the end of last year, Fibrus had delivered new infrastructure to more than 22,000 premises.

The roll-out of the new full fibre network to reach all 85,000 premises, including the additional 8,500 premises being brought into the scope of Project Stratum, will continue across four extended quarters of network build, with Fibrus Networks expected to complete full deployment by March 2025.

The figures are contained in an update to to Ofcom's annual Connected Nations report released in December, and is based on mobile coverage and fixed broadband availability as of January.

On a UK-wide basis, the number of homes able to get gigabit capable broadband is up to 19.3 million (66 per cent of all homes), up from 13.7 million (47 per cent) since Ofcom's previous update.

Full fibre coverage continues to increase at pace, up to 33 per cent from 28 per cent in the four months between

September 2021 and January 2022, with just under 9.6 million homes now covered.

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