WORK has started on building a new ultrafast broadband network for Rossendale.

The 'full fibre' upgrade by Openreach will allow thousands of local people and businesses connect multiple devices at gigabit-capable speeds and help businesses to trade faster online.

Rossendale and Darwen MP Sir Jake Berry, met with the firm's engineers in Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall, to witness first-hand the innovative techniques used to deliver ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband across his constituency.

He was given a tour of the work and an update on the build which has already reached 2,000 homes and businesses in The Valley.

Sir Jake,who tried his hand at 'fibre splicing', said: “Since I was elected it’s been a key priority of mine to improve broadband speeds across Rossendale and Darwen so it’s been great to meet the local Openreach engineers working hard to build a new full fibre network for Rossendale.

"I hope residents and businesses will take advantage of the improved broadband speeds as they become more widely available.

“Fast, reliable broadband is more important than ever before as people are working from home, starting businesses and streaming content on multiple devices.

"It can even influence where people choose to buy a house or locate a business so it’s fantastic to see Openreach investing in our communities.”

Full Fibre broadband provides more reliable and resilient connectivity, with fewer faults. consistent speeds and enough capacity to meet growing data demands.

Openreach’s full fibre network in Lancashire now reaches more than 290,000 properties including in Accrington, Bolton, Burnley and Rochdale

Investment is also planned in Bacup, Blackburn, Darwen, Turton and Whitworth.

Sir Jake's visit to Rawtenstall was hosted by Steve King, Openreach’s senior network manager for Lancashire and Cumbria, who said: “We welcomed the opportunity to give a step-by-step demonstration of our technology, as well as an update on the build.

"It was great to be able to share the challenges and realities of delivering this life changing infrastructure.

“This is a major upgrade, so people will see more engineering teams, equipment and vans around town.

"We're working hard to keep disruption to a minimum.

“Wherever possible, we’ll use our existing network of ducts and poles to avoid roadworks, new street furniture and disturbance.

"But there may be places where we need to install new poles, underground ducts and fibre cables.

“We’re using the latest technology, like tiny underground cameras that inspect ducts for help us avoid digging up the streets wherever possible.”