LONDON – Openreach engineers have connected the historic Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway to Full Fibre broadband - future-proofing North Devon's much-loved tourism icon for generations to come.
The Victorian railway is the UK's only fully water-powered railway and one of just three examples left in the world. It's spectacular views across Lynmouth Bay and the Bristol Channel - from a Grade II café building perched high on the cliff top - make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Devon and it welcomes 400,000 visitors every year.
The railway has connected the idyllic twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth physically since 1890 and today, with the installation of 21st century digital infrastructure, it will be able to connect digitally with the whole world. It is hoped that the new ultrafast, ultra-reliable connectivity will enable the railway to continue its important role in bringing tourism to the area as well as transporting residents up and down the cliff as they go about their daily business.
The upgrade forms part of Openreach's investment to build Full Fibre broadband technology to thousands of homes and businesses in 33 "harder-to-reach" cities, towns and villages across the South West- part of a wider commitment to reach 3.2 million premises in the UK’s hardest to serve 'final third'.
When Openreach engineers surveyed Lynton and Lynmouth to plan new network, they realised that, with a bit of collaboration and some engineering know-how, the Cliff Railway could be an added bonus in their connection plans.
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