Openreach reveals digital switch next steps

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UK digital network infrastructure provider Openreach has revealed the next steps in its ongoing programme to help upgrade the old analogue phone network to a new digital all-IP world.

In more than a hundred locations across the UK, covering around 1.2 million premises, Openreach is planning to stop selling its legacy analogue services and instead focus on providing people with a modern, futureproof Full Fibre connection that can deliver all manner of new digital services over the top.

The company’s recently-updated target to build full fibre broadband to 4.5 million homes and businesses by end of March 2021 (up from 4 million) is part of the accelerated build plan which has meant that it can bring forward our migration efforts to selected exchange areas.

Full Fibre or ‘Fibre to the Premises’ technology (FTTP) will be available to more than 75 per cent of homes in these locations by June 2021, as, according to Openreach, it makes no sense – both operationally and commercially – to keep the old and new network running side-by-side.

The decision builds on trials in the UK locations of  Mildenhall and Salisbury – launched in 2019 –  to develop and test the ways it upgrades customers onto new digital products, and it has responded to Communication Providers (CPs) who asked for contiguous exchange areas and certainty on Openreach’s build plan.

In June 2020, it intends to give 12-months’ notice that it will no longer be selling copper-based products in 118 exchange areas across the UK.


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