Chippenham businesses will get ultra-fast full-fibre broadband by the middle of the decade, infrastructure giant Openreach has promised.
The town is on a list of 33 market towns and villages in the south-west, and 251 nationally, that Openreach says will benefit from gigabit-ready full-fibre broadband by 2026.
The £12 billion investment will bring full-fibre – capable of download speeds of one gigabit per second – to 20 million business and residential premises.
Full fibre connects the customer to the Openreach network by fibre optic cable. It currently reaches three million homes and businesses – Swindon is already classed as a full-fibre town, as is Salisbury.
Openreach says the investment will boost productivity, allow people to work from home, free people to move out of the cities, and cut commuting and carbon emissions.
Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “This year we’ve all seen the importance of having a decent broadband connection, and at Openreach we’re convinced that full-fibre technology can underpin the UK’s economic recovery.
“We’re determined to find inventive engineering solutions and effective partnership funding models to reduce costs and enable us to connect as many communities as possible across the UK without public subsidy.
“Openreach is leading the charge to help Government achieve its target of making gigabit-capable networks available nationwide by 2025.-“We hope that by publishing our own plans, we can help ensure that taxpayers only fund connections in communities that really need public support.”
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Fast and secure internet connections will be a vital tool to help our economy recover and we have committed £5 billion to make sure the hardest-to-reach areas of the UK aren’t left behind."