Bromley and Openreach agree Digital Charter partnership to support ultrafast broadband investment

Published Monday, 24 May 2021

A Digital Charter with Openreach to support a faster rollout of ultrafast full fibre broadband for homes and businesses has been agreed.

The partnership agreement follows Openreach’s aim to connect tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the borough and is part of a multi-million-pound investment to improve digital infrastructure, bringing ultrafast, ultra-reliable, future-proof connectivity to much of the borough.  Thousands of homes and businesses in Orpington can already order a Full Fibre service through the provider of their choice, with more to come.

The Charter sets out commitments made by both the council and Openreach, with the purpose of speeding up the delivery of Openreach’s Full Fibre deployment plans throughout Bromley. Commitments in the Digital Charter such as allowing for the application of retrospective highways permits, will grant Openreach the ability to streamline their planned works and ultimately allow them to connect more premises in less time.

Councillor Peter Morgan, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing said, “Fast and reliable internet connections are absolutely key for residents and businesses across the borough, with our experience in the pandemic underlining this even more.  Demand and need are set to increase and we welcome Openreach’s investment, with work already underway.  The scale of the task is significant and by working in partnership and streamlining our processes where we can, we are maximising what can be achieved, to the benefit of everyone.”

Kieran Wines, Partnership Director for London and the South East, Openreach said, “Great connectivity has never been more important and Openreach is investing in ultrafast Full Fibre – the best broadband infrastructure you can get in the UK – in Bromley. The Digital Charter we’ve agreed with Bromley Council will help us build faster and further, reaching more homes and businesses with this new gold standard network. We look forward to the next stage of the journey and continuing our close working relationship with Bromley Council.”

As Openreach already has a significant amount of ducting within the borough, much of the work will be focussed on rewiring, replacing copper wiring with fibre-optic cabling, meaning that digging and associated disruption will be kept to a minimum.  To help ensure disruption is limited, the Digital Charter provides Bromley Council with assurances from Openreach to “carefully consider residential amenity and reduce noise and disruption as much as practical” for when undergoing occasional construction works.

Bromley Council is the first local authority in London to sign such an agreement, with the joint venture displaying Bromley Council’s willingness and ambition to improve digital connectivity throughout the borough.

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