Over 200 Properties in the Halfway Area of Banbridge are now Connected to Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband.
A partnership between Openreach and local residents means properties in this area are now connected to the next generation of the internet
The Halfway area community in Banbridge have recently benefited from Openreach’s Fibre Community Partnership (FCP) scheme which means 202 properties can now access Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband over the Openreach network.
The FCP scheme, which draws funding from DCMS Gigabit Broadband Vouchers, has enabled Openreach to improve rural connectivity by extending its network to some of the hardest to reach areas in Northern Ireland.
Residents of the Halfway area were previously experiencing unreliable and slow broadband connections making everyday tasks like working from home difficult. However, the area was eligible to apply for an Openreach FCP scheme and as enough people pledged their voucher, the funding target was reached and the network build could begin.
Now with the completion of Openreach’s new Ultrafast Full Fibre network, residents are placing orders to get connected so they can enjoy a faster and more reliable broadband connection essential for everyday life. From enabling work and business to carry on, to allowing people to shop, stay entertained, access services, and keep in touch.
With speeds of 1 Gbps, it is up to 10 times faster* than the average home broadband connection. That means faster game downloads, better quality video calls and higher resolution movie streaming. The new technology is also 5 times more reliable than the current national average meaning households and businesses can connect more devices at once without experiencing any slowdown, buffering or dropouts.
Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband is future proof and will service the needs of this community for decades to come. Residents can contact their Communication Provider who will arrange for a new fibre optic cable to be installed to connect to the new network. Over 600 Communication Providers including Sky, BT, TalkTalk and Vodafone, work with Openreach meaning great choice and value for householders and businesses.
The Fibre Community Partnership scheme aims to work together with communities not included in any publicly or privately financed Full Fibre network plans. In the case of the Drumneath scheme, residents would have been outside Openreach’s network build, so were able to use Gigabit Vouchers to ensure their community received the new future-proof service.
Local resident Tom Magowan was instrumental in getting the 18 month long FCP scheme off the ground and in driving it forward to completion. Throughout lockdown, he observed that members of the community were studying for exams and working from home with slow broadband speeds and contacted Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s office for support, and together they worked with Openreach in bringing the Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband build to fruition. Tom also brought together a group of residents called ‘Team Fibre’ who worked get enough residents involved for the scheme to be viable.
“It has been a very worthwhile scheme to have been a part of and driven forward, Tom says. “I am proud of what the local community has achieved together with the support of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and the professionalism and ambition of Openreach,” he said.
Speaking about the broadband upgrade, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: “We were contacted by local resident Tom Magowan who had concerns about the poor broadband speeds the Halfway area community was experiencing, and the opportunity Openreach’s Fibre Community Partnership could bring. We were delighted to get behind the initiative and provide support in improving connectivity for residents.
“The successful completion of the FCP scheme means that over 200 homes and businesses in the area can upgrade to a faster and more reliable future. Tom and ‘Team Fibre’ should be commended for their hard work, as well as the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership team in ensuring this community don’t get left behind.”
To check your eligibility for upgrading to Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband, enter your postcode here: https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband and then contact your Communications Provider of choice to order.