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Thu May 30 2024

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Contractors called up for £12bn broadband expansion

15 Sep 20 Openreach, the phone line company, is stepping up its ultrafast broadband programme and has today announced another 67 towns and cities to be hooked up by 2023.

Contractors in line to benefit include Morrison Telecom Services (part of M Group Services) and NMCN, and both are embarking on recruitment and training drives to build capacity for the work. Others signing new contracts are Telent, MJ Quinn, Kier and Instalcom. (Full list below.)

Openreach’s Fibre Cities programme is installing fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband technology across the nation. Work on the next tranche will begin in March 2021 and take two years.

More than 560 towns, cities and villages have now been included in the Fibre First programme – a £12bn project to build ‘Full Fibre’  technology to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s.

Openreach has already built Full Fibre technology to more than three million premises across the UK and is on track to deliver its target of reaching four and a half million premises by the end of March 2021.

Since the build programme began in February 2018, Openreach engineers have deployed around 2.6 million kilometres of fibre.

As part of the next tranche of work, Morrison Telecom Services has been awarded a contract to build new infrastructure in Alloway, Beith, Kilbirnie, Maybole, Prestwick, Stewarton and Troon in Ayrshire; Midlothian in Scotland; Burton, Galgate, Hest Bank, Heysham, Lancaster and Morecambe in Lancashire; Basildon, Herongate, Purfleet and Thurrock in Essex; Adur in West Sussex and Medway in Kent. There will also be additional build in previously announced locations including Edinburgh, Sheffield and Worthing.

NMCN will build new fibre infrastructure in Arnold, Nottinghamshire and there will also be additional network build in previously announced locations in the East Midlands including Nottingham, Gedling, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe and Derby.

The detailed planning activity for the build is already under way and construction is due to start in the coming months.

Kevin Murphy, Openreach managing director for fibre and network delivery, said: “Great connectivity is more important than ever, whether it’s to support home working, to keep in touch with family and friends, or to access digital services like health and education. Full Fibre broadband enables this in spades, and we’re ramping up our own efforts to build our new network to as many homes and businesses across the UK as we can.

“This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK today, and if we’re going to deliver the enormous social, environmental and economic benefits that Full Fibre can bring, it’s important we can build the new network efficiently, safely and without compromising on quality.”

Pat Carolan, managing director of Morrison Telecom Services, said: “We are excited to have been chosen to work with Openreach on this critical infrastructure build programme. This contract award provides Morrison Telecom Services with an opportunity to play a key role in the delivery of ultrafast connectivity to homes and businesses in these local communities. The rollout programme will see our teams of engineers and support staff delivering full design, survey and build activities, including all civils-related works, from the exchange to the premises. Setting the highest performance standards in safety, innovation and customer engagement, we look forward to working with Openreach, the local authorities and other key stakeholders to ensure the success of this latest phase of ‘Full Fibre’ broadband delivery.”

John Maloney, managing director of telecoms at NMCN, said; “At NMCN we are committed to our vision of having a positive impact on everything we touch and the results of this prestigious contract will certainly benefit thousands of households across the Midlands by providing ultrafast and reliable Full Fibre broadband. We look forward to further developing our working relationship with Openreach to deliver this project.”

Kier's inclusion springs from its 2017 acquisition of utiities contractor McNicholas. Barry McNicholas, general managing director of Kier Utilities & Rail, said: “Our experience within the telecoms market means we are well-placed to support the build and delivery of these networks in Swindon and Wiltshire and working collaboratively with Openreach, we look forward to delivering this vital new infrastructure.”

Below is a full list of contractors and the areas or exchange clusters to which they will be building:

Telent Morrison Telecom Services KN Circet MJ Quinn Instalcom JHG Kelly’s NMCN Kier
Folsehill Lancaster Hemel Hempstead Leyland Balham Northampton Hove Arnold Swindon
Willowcroft Sheffield Aberdeen Woodley Kidbrooke Bedford      
Newcastle U Lyme Donaldson Douglas Ellesmere Port          
Walsall Ayr Giffnock Huyton          
Wednesbury Laindon Loughton Barry          
Newcastle Central Gillingham Orpington Newport          
Castleford Worthing Central Paignton            
St Peters                

For further details on Full Cities, see

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