Better broadband for Southwark

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We are committed to being a digitally inclusive borough, where 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 the council’s Fairer Future promise to build a strong local economy for everyone.

While much of the borough enjoys fast broadband for some areas, especially in Rotherhithe, internet speeds are much slower. To tackle the issue of ‘not spots’ in Southwark, the council is working with a range of different broadband providers, as well as the Mayor of London and central government, to improve and increase broadband performance and availability across the borough. In partnership with Transport for London (TfL), the Greater London Authority and a number of other local authorities we recently submitted an application for central government funding to roll out new fibre broadband networks in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. If this pan-London bid is successful, the funding we receive will be used to extend the fibre network TfL plans to build throughout Zone 1 of the London Underground to select public buildings located near to the stations of Bermondsey and Canada Water. More information will be provided here once the successful bids have been announced at the end of March.

The council is also continuing to consult with residents and work closely with the Rotherhithe Broadband Group. Southwark’s new digital infrastructure strategy sets out the council’s approach to improving broadband in Rotherhithe and connectivity in the borough as a whole. You can find this strategy and associated Cabinet report from October 2017 here.

You said…we did

Last autumn we consulted residents in Rotherhithe about their experiences of home broadband. Nearly 1,000 people took part in this survey and the results were overwhelming: poor broadband is a significant problem for many residents in Rotherhithe and is contributing to digital exclusion in the area.

The council has listened to this feedback and we are pleased to announce that a new superfast broadband service will soon be available to 70% of residents and businesses in the borough.

In November 2017 Southwark Council signed lease agreements with wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) provider Relish to allow them to install their Wi-Fi aerials on the rooftops of 21 of the council’s residential blocks. Providing broadband speeds of up to 40Mbps, all of these Wi-Fi aerials have now been installed, with 17 of the new sites already delivering Relish’s broadband service, including both of those in Rotherhithe. Two new Relish Wi-Fi masts have also been approved for installation on one of the main highways in Rotherhithe, which will further extend the coverage of superfast broadband throughout this well known ‘not spot’.

Those Southwark residents currently suffering from slow broadband speeds who sign-up for one of these Wi-Fi contracts should find that their experiences of everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, downloading and streaming TV, film and music, communicating online and working remotely noticeably improves.

You can find out when this new Wi-Fi service will be made available in your area here.

Check back regularly as we'll be updating this page with more exciting announcements on our vision for making Southwark a digitally inclusive borough.

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Page last updated: 07 November 2018