Openreach has today announced its plans to build ultrafast full fibre broadband to at least three million more homes and businesses in hard-to-reach rural areas.

The addition of three million more homes and businesses to Openreach’s updated network build strategy will result in the company delivering full fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises. The plan is a key contribution towards achieving the UK Government’s target of making Gigabit capable broadband available to 85% of the country by 2025.

In order to achieve the targets, Openreach will also undertake its largest ever recruitment drive and has committed to creating 1,000 new roles in 2021. This figure is in addition to the 2,500 jobs which were announced in December 2020.

Commenting on the plans, Clive Selley, Openreach’s CEO, said: “Building a new broadband network across the UK is a massive challenge and some parts of the country will inevitably require public funding. But our expanded build plan means taxpayer subsidies can be limited to only the hardest to connect homes and businesses – and we hope to see other companies step forward to build in the most rural areas too.”

The announcement was welcomed by Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden, who said: “I welcome Openreach’s ambitious plans to connect millions more rural homes to gigabit speeds. It means our funding can go even further to help those in need and will create thousands more high-skilled engineering jobs as we build back better from the pandemic."

Addressing the UK’s rural connectivity issue will be a key theme at this year’s Connected Britain conference, taking place in London on 21st and 22nd September. To find out how you can join Openreach and other leading fibre providers, head to the event website.