Working with Openreach

View information about the Openreach contracts for Superfast Northamptonshire, the commercial Fibre First programme and Community Fibre Partnership offer. 

Openreach won two contracts for Superfast Northamptonshire to deliver the first two stages of the project and is playing a major part in helping to deliver benefits to many areas in North and West Northamptonshire that are in need of faster broadband.

When were the contracts awarded?

The first stage of the project was contracted by Northamptonshire County Council in March 2013 following a procurement process through the Government’s Broadband Infrastructure Framework. The contract was due to provide access to superfast broadband (access line speeds >24Mbps) to 48,660 premises.  The contract was extended twice in 2014 to serve an additional 4,750 premises. Excellent progress was made and these extended Stage 1 plans were completed in March 2016 and benefitted a total of 53,800 premises.

The second contract was awarded to Openreach in November 2014. This has extended the availability of superfast broadband to a further 19,000 premises.

What will the contracts achieve?

Together these contracts will deliver hundreds of miles of fibre broadband network to make superfast broadband available to around 72,000 homes and businesses in North and West Northamptonshire. Families and businesses can choose to take up superfast broadband services once available by asking their Internet Service Provider (ISP) about how to upgrade or finding the best deal by comparing ISP offers on-line. Openreach’s network is open meaning that people will have significant choice about who to buy their internet services from. Visit the Get Connected page to find out more.

Summary of contracts

​Contract and value (£)

​Contract 1: worth £10.9m

​Contract 2: worth £8.8m

​Public Investment (£)

​Involves £7m of public investment

​Involves £6.1m of public investment

Openreach Investment (£)

​£3.9m investment by Openreach

​£2.7m investment by Openreach

​Network Build Details

​Involved planning, design and build of a fibre based network which has provided access to Superfast Broadband (>24Mbps) to:

  • 53,800 premises (within the target 'in need' area). This is 400 premises more than the contract target.

  • In total over 61,950 premises have been passed by fibre (including those above which will benefit from access to superfast broadband). This is almost 1,000 more than the Contract target. 

​Involved planning, design and build of a fibre based network which has provided access to Superfast Broadband (>24Mbps) to:

  • 19,000 premises (within the target 'in need' area)

  • In total 21,500 premises will be passed by fibre (including those above which will benefit from access to superfast broadband)

​Timescales

​Network build from 2013 to March 2016

​Network build from early 2016 to 2019.

 

The first two stages of the Superfast Northamptonshire project involved public funding from Northamptonshire County Council, Government (the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (BDUK programme), the Department for Business Innovation and Skill (Local Growth Fund via Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership); and the seven local district and borough councils.   The County Council and local councils were replaced by two Unitary authorities (North and West Northamptonshire Councils) in april 2021). 

First new fibre cabinets went live in February 2014

The first new fibre cabinets (green roadside boxes) to be delivered by the project went ‘live’ in February 2014 benefitting many of the residents and businesses in Towcester. The then Government Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, was on hand to mark the achievement of this milestone.

Eighteen months later the Minister congratulated Northamptonshire for reaching over 50,000 premises with the superfast broadband roll out. Without the multi-million pound public / private investment, superfast fibre broadband would not be available to these premises and the benefits that this brings.

shows from the left:  then County Council Leader Jim Harker, Ed Vaizey (then Minister of State at DCMS), then County Councillor

Image above, shows from the left:  then County Council Leader Jim Harker, Ed Vaizey (then Minister of State at DCMS), then County Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage and former BT Managing Director of NGA, Bill Murphy.

Further information

For more information on how and where Openreach have delivered for the project please visit the pages listed below:

​Openreach is undertaking a massive national upgrade plan of its network to Full Fibre. The Openreach “Fibre First” announcements to date (June 2021) involve coverage in 39 exchange areas across Northamptonshire.

This is good news for the county and will support progress towards our local Superfast Northamptonshire targets to see 40% of premises able to access full fibre by the end of 2023.  Whilst Openreach envisage that the majority of premises will be served in announced exchange areas which come forward, it is expected that not all premises will. This is because it is a commercial roll out – so those more costly remote premises or difficult to reach premises are unlikely to benefit. The Openreach map of Fibre First exchanges provides indicative timescales in a programme of works in Northamptonshire extending to 2026. It is currently unclear how many premises in these areas will benefit and it is likely that more remote rural premises will not be served. These premises are expected to be the focus for the government's Project Gigabit programme focused on helping the hardest to reach rural premises. It is early days for these Openreach plans and a lot of uncertainty about coverage.  We will update you on plans as more information becomes available.

The list of exchanges announced to date by Openreach include:
Blisworth, Bozeat, Brackley, Braunston, Brigstock, Brixworth, Broughton, Burton Latimer, Byfield, Chapel Brampton, Cogenhoe, Creaton, Crick, Daventry, Desborough, Duston, Earls Barton, Finedon, Hackleton, Hardingstone, Irthlingborough, Kettering, Kings Sutton, Kingsthorpe, Kislingbury, Long Buckby, Northampton, Oundle, Raunds, Roade, Rushden, Stamford, Stony Stratford, Thrapston, Towcester, Wansford, Weedon, Wellingborough and Yardley Gobion.

Are Openreach Fibre First plans represented on the Superfast Northamptonshire When and Where map?

Premise level information on the extent of the Openreach Fibre First plans is largely not yet available so it is difficult to represent these plans on the When and Where map. There is also still considerable uncertainty around the extent of coverage plans.  The last consultation with telecoms providers on their commercial plans closed in February 2021.  Any premise level information on Openreach full fibre coverage (Fibre to the Premise) provided at that time is represented on the map. If a premise is located within an announced Fibre First exchange area, and there are no other known commercial plans i.e. the premise is White on the When and Where map, the pop up will direct the enquirer to the Openreach site for more information.  This is not an indication of confirmed plans to serve the property.

Further information

​Openreach operate a Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) scheme.  This is a demand led scheme requiring a resourceful local community lead to bring together a group of like-minded residents and business owners, or whole communities, to secure or expedite a full fibre broadband upgrade for their locality.

These are customised solutions which are partly funded by Openreach and partly funded by private contributions from the community.  Once a quote has been accepted and agreed with a community and funding confirmed, Openreach will build. Delivery timescales and premise level coverage would be agreed as part of the CFP arrangement.  Openreach may also advise on any government grants which may be available to help pay for the community contribution.

Before embarking on a CFP initiative, whether you live in North or West Northamptonshire, please contact the Superfast Northamptonshire team by emailing bigidea.ncc@northnorthants.gov.uk to find out if your locality is already in plans to be served.

Further information

Full Fibre will help to boost the UK’s Economy

Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) commissioned by Openreach in 2021 reveals the benefits that full fibre could provide to the UK. The pandemic has accelerated previous trends. A million more people could be helped to access employment though increased flexible working. Two million more people could work remotely from home, reducing transport and housing pressures in big cities and boosting local and rural economies across the country.

View the CEBR report on Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband 2021 to find out more.

Image summarizing key stats about how the pandemic has changed the way we live and work.