16,000 homes in Crawley and Horley to benefit from £37.5 million investment by Openreach

More than 125,500 more homes and businesses in the South East are set to benefit from a major broadband boost thanks to a further £37.5m investment by Openreach.

When work is finished, people living and working in Horley and Pound Hill will benefit - along with 18 more communities across Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, and Kent - will be able to contact their broadband provider and upgrade to Full Fibre broadband.

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10,000 homes in Horley and 6,000 homes in Pound Hill will benefit. The investment in Horley is £3 million and Pound Hill is £1.6 million.

Openreach engineer Leanne

This is a further boost for the South East as it follows several key announcements last year outlining plans that more than 1,315,000 homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including more than 360,000 in rural and harder to serve areas.

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Kieran Wines, Openreach’s Regional Director for the South East said: “Nobody in the UK is building full fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

“In 2021 our engineers built around 770 metres of new broadband cables every minute – making ultrafast broadband available to another home or business every 13 seconds. We’ve already reached six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultrafast Full Fibre technology including more than 450,000 across the South East, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it.”

Openreach engineer works on the new Full Fibre network at an exchange

Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network, providing more predictable, consistent speeds.

Across the South East, more than 145,000 or 31% of homes and businesses have already ordered a Full Fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network. But this means another 305,000 could be benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in the world and have yet to upgrade.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in the South East to Full Fibre. It estimated this would create a £8.7 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have been working hard to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK and the company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025. The company will invest billions of pounds to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

Openreach employs more than more than 4,800 people across the South East; you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here.