Openreach today announced a further 67 locations in its Fibre Cities programme where it will be building its new, future-proof Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology, as part of a new tranche of build. Work will begin in March 2021.
The new locations stretch across the country – from Alloway, in Ayrshire; to Helsby, in Cheshire; and Ivybridge, in South Devon – and the build will take place over the next two years.
Overall, more than 560 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets have now been included in the company’s Fibre First programme – a massive £12 billion project to build ‘Full Fibre’ technology to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place.
Openreach’s website has today been updated with a simplified view of the build programme, including indicative maps. Openreach will continue to publish details of its build plans on a rolling basis including new tranches of build when appropriate. The information is being updated on a quarterly basis and includes details of the specific exchanges where FTTP is currently being built, has already been built, or where building will start within the next three month.
This gives stakeholders – like Communications Providers (CP), end-customers and council planners –valuable information to make informed decisions on their FTTP investments and sales efforts, helping to encourage more people to adopt and take advantage of the new service when it arrives.
Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: "Despite the challenges of the pandemic we’re continuing to make great strides towards our goal to build ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband to 20 million homes and businesses.
“This new digital platform can help the UK’s economy bounce back quicker from the Covid-19 crisis and, whilst a full recovery is likely to be measured in years rather than months, there’s strong evidence that Full Fibre broadband could help to turbo-charge that process.
“For homes, shops, GP surgeries and schools across the country it will mean fewer broadband faults, faster connections, and a consistent reliable network that will serve them for decades to come.”
Openreach has already built Full Fibre technology to more than three million premises across the UK – including over a quarter in the hardest to reach, or final third of the country, and continues to accelerate the build of its FTTP footprint – making the technology available to a new home or business every 20 seconds across the UK and on track to deliver its target of reaching four and a half million premises by the end of March 2021.
Since the build programme began in February 2018, Openreach engineers have deployed around 2.6 million kilometres of fibre – enough to travel to the moon and back three times.
This short video explains what full fibre technology is. People interested in upgrading their broadband can see what’s available in their area by entering their postcode into Openreach’s online fibre checker.