Openreach ramps up digital upgrade

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As part of its programme to upgrade the UK’s analogue phone network to new digital products, network infrastructure provider 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 12 months’ time (coming into effect on April 29th, 2022).

These are all exchange areas where the company has been building its new ultrafast Full Fibre broadband infrastructure, and it has confirmed it will be working closely with Communications Providers to upgrade their customers onto the new network.

This brings the total number of exchange locations where it plans to stop selling copper-based services to 297, covering a total of 2.9 million premises.

“This is a really big deal for our industry as it marks the next step in the digital revolution,” declared James Lilley, Director Managed Customer Migrations. “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.”

“Just three years from now, we’ll stop selling analogue products nationwide and we’re already working to upgrade some 14 million analogue lines to digital by 2025,” he added.


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