HOMES and businesses in Winsford are set to get a broadband boost.

Openreach has pledged to make ultrafast, ultra-reliable and future-proof broadband available in hard to reach communities including Winsford.

More than 250,000 homes and businesses in more than 200 villages, market towns and rural areas are set to benefit by March 2021.

Now 10,000 homes and businesses in the towns can already access full fibre broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1000Mbps) – that’s more than 15 times faster than today’s UK average broadband speed.

As designated key workers, Openreach engineers have been hard at work throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, building the new network that uses the latest Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology – where fibre optic cables are laid all the way from the local telephone exchange to people’s front doors.

Winsford residents living in streets such as Rookery Rise and Collingtree Avenue can now place an order for the new technology.

In the coming months a further 20,000 homes and business could see their broadband boosted as engineers continue installing the cables and infrastructure required.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s regional partnership director in the north, said: “We’re making great progress in Winsford, and our full fibre build has continued despite the obvious challenges.

"As well as keeping people connected using our existing network, our engineers have continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, we can support families, businesses and the economic recovery.

“I’d encourage everyone who can to upgrade to the new technology and take advantage of the many benefits. Full fibre is more reliable and more resilient, meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds. It’s also future-proof as we expect it to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies for decades to come.”

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Recent research suggests the new network could bring clear economic benefits as Lancashire looks to bounce back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research found that connecting everyone in the north west to full fibre broadband would create a £5.5 billion boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

The report also revealed that 54,000 people in the region could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity - including in small businesses and through entrepreneurship.

Openreach recently expanded its national plans and will now make FTTP technology available to 4.5 million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of March 2021 – an increase of more than 500,000 premises.

By the mid-to-late 2020s the company hopes to reach 20 million premises, almost two thirds of the UK areas assuming the right conditions to invest are in place.

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