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Our full fibre broadband project is expanding

We’re continuing to work on our full fibre broadband project and are working with three companies to roll out full fibre broadband to flats.

This will be of great benefit to our customers, enabling them to access high speed broadband connections.

This type of broadband is 12 times faster than the UK average and the upgrade will ensure that our customers have access to speeds of up to 900Mbps.

Previously we announced we were working with Hyperoptic and now we are also working with Openreach and City Fibre specifically on schemes to upgrade our properties to high-speed broadband.

This roll out is funded by the broadband companies who are investing due to the Government aiming for 85 per cent of homes to have access to a gigabit broadband connection by 2025. This means speeds of one gigabit per second.

The current focus is on properties in Birmingham and Coventry, and we have also entered into agreements to upgrade properties in Worcester and Solihull. A recent agreement has also been reached with another company which will see fibre cable upgrades to some of our properties in Hereford.

Building Surveyor Macauley Williams said this is his first big project since joining Citizen and said it’s an incredibly important thing to do.

He said: “I have been working closely with fellow surveyors and contractors (BT Openreach, City Fibre and Hyper Optic) in order to deliver fibre optic cabling into homes of Citizen.

“During lockdown people started to see the importance of being provided good internet as some would need to work from home or would need to use the internet to enjoy life at home while we were all locked down. Therefore, everyone can understand having proficient internet is an essential in this day and age and this project will allow that for our customers.

“My primary role throughout this project involves me assessing and analysing risk assessments and cable lay outs sent over by contractors to make sure they meet health and safety standards. As a new surveyor to Citizen this project has been valuable in allowing me to extend my knowledge and gain a better understanding of the process of carrying out works for future projects.”

Around 18,500 of our customers are due to benefit from the upgrade.

Our Portfolio Manager Liz Bloomfield said it was important that we secured a wayleave agreement ahead of the works. This agreement gives the telecommunications company the rights to lay and install cables on privately owned land and property, and also gives us the ability to ensure that any works that are carried out in our blocks meet health and safety requirements.

She said: “It meant that from early on we were able to work with the providers so they could do what they needed to our homes in a way that was agreeable to us.“This project is so important for our customers to ensure they have internet access that supports their needs, and Citizen are helping to facilitate that be enabling the cabling upgrades. In addition, our money advice team will be advising customers that they can enquire with the broadband providers about social tariffs and discounted packages that may be available to them.”

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