Better broadband for Southwark
Southwark Council is committed to ensuring all residents and businesses have access to the digital tools they need to live and work. Access to high speed broadband is an important part of our Fairer Future promise to build a strong local economy for everyone.
Southwark's Technology and Digital Inclusion Strategy
Results of our consultation with residents in Rotherhithe
Are you getting the best service available?
Estate Fibre Broadband Programme
Broadband Digital Inclusion
Building on the Digital Infrastructure Strategy 2017-2020, the new Technology and Digital Inclusion Strategy 2022-2025 sets out the council’s approach to improving broadband and connectivity around the borough.
The strategy vision is for “Every Southwark resident to have access to a fast and stable internet connection, a device and the skills needed to participate in society and the digital economy by 2025”
Other useful links
- Digital Infrastructure Strategy 2017-2020 (PDF, 226kb)
- Ofcom Connected Nations 2017 report
- London Assembly Regeneration Committee report on digital connectivity
- October 2017 Cabinet report: Consideration of options for broadband in Rotherhithe and improving connectivity in the borough as a whole
- June 2017 Cabinet report: Considerations of options for broadband in Rotherhithe
- February 2016 Cabinet report: Broadband in Rotherhithe
- Southwark Council Digital Strategy
In Autumn 2017, we spoke to residents in Rotherhithe about their experiences of home broadband. Nearly 1,000 people took part in this survey. The results showed that poor broadband is a significant problem for many residents in Rotherhithe.
Based on this consultation, we developed these programmes to tackle the issue of poor connectivity:
- Rooftop Wi-Fi aerials
- Estate Fibre Broadband Programme
- Gigabit Voucher Scheme
You won't be automatically upgraded when service availability changes in your area - be an active consumer and do regular research:
- Have you checked your area?
- Are you with the right provider?
- Are you on the right contract?
How do I know I’m getting the best available broadband speed?
Check with your provider, and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions! If you already have broadband but want a faster service, regularly check that your current provider is offering the latest broadband speed available and that you're on the right contract. There could be changes to the services available, but you may need to switch providers or upgrade your contract to enjoy these benefits.
If you're interested in general information about broadband coverage, the government site is useful. This is the link to their ‘speed test’ section:
2018–2021 Community Fibre and Hyperoptic Fibre Broadband
This has given 41,000 residents access to 1 Gigabit per second connectivity from Community Fibre or Hyperoptic.
These partnerships have not only improved broadband connectivity options for residents living in council-owned properties, but it has also supported future-proofing council estates for increasing connectivity needs.
2021–2024 Openreach Fibre Broadband
In 2021, Southwark Council gave Openreach permission to carry out a fibre upgrade to Southwark’s council estates, giving residents further access to fast internet.
As the upgrade is completed, residents will be able to order a fibre broadband internet service from one of the many internet service providers, such as BT, SKY, or Talk Talk who use the Openreach network to deliver their broadband internet services.
Check your postcode at Openreach Fibre First programme, or use broadband comparison websites where you can look up and search.
We've answered some frequently asked questions about the Estate Fibre Broadband Programme (PDF, 304kb)
Free gigabit-fast WiFi in libraries and community halls
As part of the agreement, broadband providers have invested in improving resident’s digital needs. This includes a free connection from community halls and faster WiFi service at some council libraries.
Borrow a Wi-fi hub from your local library
As part of Southwark Council’s digital inclusion objective, we've launched a broadband router lending scheme. Residents can borrow a broadband router for up to 4 weeks from either Peckham, Canada or Walworth Library.
Residents will need a referral from themself or colleagues by filling out this form. Better Broadband will then send a referral letter indicating which library has availability.
There are currently 40 routers in circulation which mean that getting a router is not guaranteed.
For any questions, email Better Broadband.
Digital inclusion and skills support
There are several digital inclusion and skills initiatives across the borough.
- digital skills training
- access to devices
- free broadband
Would you like to be a Southwark Digital Champion?
Access free, accredited training so you can improve and share your online skills to help those who are digitally excluded. Training is delivered by Digital Unite and We Are Digital. If you're interested in becoming a Digital Champion complete the online form.
Page last updated: 02 February 2023