Openreach, the UK’s digital infrastructure company, has announced 36 new locations where it will be building its new, future-proof Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology over the next 12 months.
Work will begin in towns and cities across the country including Newcastle, Doncaster, Chelmsford and St Albans over the coming months, whilst four new locations in Scotland (Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire and Bathgate, Broxburn and Whitburn in West Lothian) have been prioritised following the Scottish Government’s decision to extend rates relief on new fibre broadband networks.
Overall, 74 locations across the UK have now been included in Openreach’s multi-billion pound Fibre First programme.
Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said: “We’re pressing ahead with our investment and Openreach engineers are now building in communities all over the country, keeping us on track to deliver against the bigger ambitions we set out in May. The Government wants to see a nationwide full fibre network and we’re keen to lead the way in helping them achieve that. We know that if it’s going to happen, Openreach will need to be at the front doing the heavy lifting, so we’re working hard to build a commercially viable plan.
“One headwind to investment which affects all full fibre builders is business rates, and we’ve been encouraged by the Scottish Government’s move to extend rates relief north of the border. I’m convinced that prioritising investment in faster, more reliable and future proof broadband networks will prove to be a no-regrets decision for future generations,” he added
Openreach recently raised its target for full fibre connections from three to four million premises by March 2021, with an ambition to reach 15 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s if the right investment conditions are in place.
The business doubled its FTTP footprint last year and continues to ramp up the build – making the technology available to more than 20,000 new homes and businesses every week across the UK.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the UK now have access to faster, more reliable and future-proof, full fibre broadband services over the Openreach network.