Openreach hope proposed new facilities near Ipswich will help develop next generation technology

PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 April 2020

The proposed new innovation centre Picture: Z GROUP/ EAST SUFFOLK

The proposed new innovation centre Picture: Z GROUP/ EAST SUFFOLK


A new innovation centre and mock street are among the ideas being proposed by Openreach as it looks to develop the next generation of broadband on its Suffolk site.

A mock street that features in the new plans for the site Picture: Z GROUP/EAST SUFFOLK COUNCILA mock street that features in the new plans for the site Picture: Z GROUP/EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Openreach has submitted plans to overhaul an area on its site at Brightwell, near Ipswich.

The space currently houses haulage containers and a few small buildings, but the company believes more could be done in the space and so has applied to create a series of new buildings including an innovation centre and a mock street.

Openreach hopes that the new site would be able to develop new technology, along a similar theme to BT’s work at nearby Adastral Park.

It says it would also allow it to carry out more community focused activities like school visits.

It is proposed that the innovation centre will provide a showcase and training area on the ground as well as hospitality and meeting space upstairs.

The mock street, known as ‘Openstreet’, will be a practical way to show installation techniques for connections and will be an upgrade on existing facilities available on the site.

Openreach described the proposed spaces as having a ‘forward thinking’ design and said it hoped that the plans, which also include office and workshop space, would be able to showcase the company’s technology and originality.

Ahmed Mohamed, Head of Open Innovation for Openreach’s Chief Engineer team, said:“We’ve carefully developed exciting plans for the site, which we hope to transform into a centre for innovation, playing a key role in unearthing and developing the next generation of broadband technology.

“Our vision is for somewhere our Chief Engineers can get together as a business to work on new things, test future products, join forces with our suppliers to try out ideas (a Techfest or a Hackathon perhaps), as well as engaging with the local community so they can be proud of and feel part of our work.

“We think this project is really exciting and we look forward to it progressing in the coming months, once we’ve all navigated the uncertain times we find ourselves in with Covid-19.”

A final decision on Openreach’s proposed plans will be made by East Suffolk Council in due course.

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