Openreach expands UK full-fibre network to 36 new locations | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Taking its reach to more than seven million homes in 36 new rural and urban locations, including more than two million in the hardest to reach ‘final third’ of the country, Openreach has announced a massive extension to its full-fibre broadband network.
OPenreach Full Fibre 14June2022
The BT-owned broadband provision division says that having already built the new technology to more than a quarter of its target footprint for gigabit broadband connectivity, Openreach is on track to reach 25 million premises by December 2026. The company says that it is passing more than 50,000 new homes and businesses every week with engineers installing around 800 metres of cable every minute. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses have already connected to the new network and demand continues to grow – with the company handling around 35,000 new orders every week.

Areas that have just been added to the build plan include Accrington, in Lancashire; Boldon, in Tyne & Wear; Dudley, West Midlands; Hornchurch, Greater London; Kemptown in Brighton; Manningham, West Yorkshire; and West Houghton, in Greater Manchester. This means that overall, more than 2,700 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are now included in the company’s build programme.

“Over a whopping seven million homes can now connect to our Full Fibre network which is a fantastic achievement. We’ve come a long way – it took eight years for us to pass our first million premises, but only four months to pass our latest million,” commented Openreach CEO Clive Selley. “We’re the UK’s leading network builder - going further and faster than all our competitors put together, and we’re still getting faster and building further every week, every quarter, and that’s important because it signals to the markets that we’re delivering what we promised. This is a life-changing technology and we’re delighted to be adding more towns and villages to our build programme today.”

Helping to further drive full-fibre adoption, and support those placing new orders on fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) where available, 40 communication providers (CPs) including the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, have signed up to Openreach’s long-term wholesale full-fibre pricing offer (known as Equinox), launched in October 2021.

The first phase of Openreach’s full-fibre roll out will continue to 2026 and the company will also stop selling legacy analogue phone services and will give notice on a further 46 exchanges covering more than 380,000 premises where it’s building full-fibre, to encourage the adoption of new digital services. Openreach is giving CPs 12 months notification that it’ll no longer be selling copper-based products/services in these exchanges. This brings the total number of locations – now notified for ‘stop sell’ to almost 600 exchanges covering around five million premises.

“We believe that full-fibre is the future for the UK and that’s why we want to deliver full-fibre broadband to 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026,” Selley added. “The shift from copper to fibre will be every bit as significant as the move from analogue to digital and black and white TV to colour. By eventually retiring analogue phone lines, we will be creating a simplified network which allows us to meet the enhanced needs of an increasingly digital society.”