BT’s broadband provision division Openreach has announced a further 77 exchange locations, covering around 700,000 homes and businesses, where it plans to stop selling copper-based services in a year's time.
The move forms part of Openreach's programme to upgrade the UK’s analogue phone network to new digital products.
The 77 exhacnges are loacted in areas where Openreach has been building its new full fibre broadband infrastructure, and the company says it will be working closely with communications providers to upgrade their customers onto the new network, which can deliver a variety digital services over the top, in particular video.
The end of copper sales will come into effect on 29 April 2022 and by this time the total number of exchange locations where Openreach plans to stop selling copper-based services will be 297, covering a total of 2.9 million premises. The full list of locations is available to view on its website.
“This is a really big deal for our industry as it marks the next step in the digital revolution," remarked James Lilley, director managed customer migrations at Openreach. “Whilst we’re building more and more full fibre infrastructure across the country, we’re also working closely with our communications providers customers to plan the withdrawal of legacy services and make upgrades from copper to fibre as smooth as possible. This is the next step on that journey – a further commitment that we’ll stop selling copper products in areas where full fibre’s going to be widely available."
Openreach plans to stop selling analogue products on a UK-wide basis in three years' time and is working to upgrade some 14 million analogue lines to digital by 2025.