NEW plans have been unveiled to roll out superfast broadband in Whalley along with five other market towns and villages across Lancashire.

This comes as part of a £12 billion nationwide investment by Openreach to make full fibre broadband accessible to rural communities by the mid to late 2020s.

Barnoldswick is among the other places to be upgraded.

Former Ribble Valley councillor Terry Hill said: “If it’s going to include some of the rural areas around Whalley then that’s great, it’s been a long time needed.

“We just need to make sure it happens.”

He added: “Especially in the current situation with so many people working from home, it's shown how increasingly, fast broadband is by no means a luxury it’s essential.”

Openreach’s ambition is to deliver full fibre to 20 million premises throughout the UK, which will reach the 3.2 million homes making up the so-called final third of the population to have so far missed out.

Openreach partnership director in the North of England Robert Thorburn said: “We’ve already upgraded hundreds of thousands of homes and business across the North West to full fibre.

“As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid crisis, our engineers have safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.

“I’d encourage everyone to check if they can switch to the new technology, and if you can, get in touch with your broadband provider to find out more about the many benefits.

“Full fibre is more reliable and more resilient meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds, it is also ‘future-proof’ to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies.”