Openreach to invest £100m in NI fibre and training new engineers

  • Digital infrastructure provider Openreach has announced a £100m in investment over the next 12 months and 100 new apprentice engineer roles.

    Northern Ireland's full-fibre internet rollout has been continuing at a rapid pace over the past year, with Openreach installing gigabit fibre-to-the-premises lines in thousands of homes and businesses across the region. Over 65% of NI premises can now access ultrafast Full Fibre broadband on the Openreach network.

    Openreach has now announced plans to invest another £100m over the next 12 months to both maintain the existing copper cable lines and expand the fibre network as rollout continues. The investment will bring ultrafast broadband to 100,000 more homes, and will specifically aim to reach rural towns and villages across the region.

    RELATED: Openreach welcomes 100th apprentice engineer in major expansion

    The investment will also include 100 new apprentice roles, which will include fill training as an engineer. The new roles can be applied for now and will be created over the next 12 months. The apprentices will receive 18 months of training and an NVQ, graduating as fully qualified engineers who will work on the Openreach network.

    Mairead Meyer, Director of Openreach in Northern Ireland, commented: "We know that full deployment of ultrafast Full Fibre broadband by 2025 could boost the NI economy by £1.3 billion and employment by 1.6%. We also know that the network we’re building will deliver even greater benefits in terms of levelling up connectivity to provide economic and social rebalancing across the region as well as having green benefits by enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips."

    RELATED: Gigabit fibre coming to 94 rural towns in Northern Ireland - Check if your town is on the list

    Arlene Foster, First Minister of Northern Ireland, commented: "I welcome the commitment by Openreach to enhance and extend digital connectivity in Northern Ireland over the next 12 months. The £100m investment plan will mean that well over two-thirds of homes and businesses here will have access to its ultrafast full fibre broadband network."

    Michelle O’Neill, deputy First Minister commented: "The availability of better broadband will be transformative for individuals, families and businesses. Openreach has already brought ultrafast Full Fire broadband to 65% of premises across the region and I’m delighted that this latest investment will help to bring the latest broadband technologies to even more people and communities."

    If you're interested in applying for one of the appentice roles or want to find out whether you can get superfast broaband in your area, head over to

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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