Openreach claims 6m Full Fibre milestone
November 17, 2021
By Colin Mann
UK digital infrastructure provider Openreach has confirmed that six million homes and businesses can now place an order for its next generation ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband – as part of its build programme to reach 25 million premises all over the UK by December 2026.
Also, as part Openreach’s rolling updates to its build plan, the company has recently outlined plans to build the new gigabit-capable technology to 170 new locations – covering some 1.5 million homes and businesses across both urban and rural locations including: Bridgend, East Kilbride, Felixstowe, Grantham, Grimsby, Guildford, Inverness, Kidderminster, Lincoln, Lowestoft, Maidstone, Newton Abbot, North Finchley, Oldham, Port Talbot, Romford South, Rugby, Riding Mill, Scunthorpe, Stannington, Simonswood, Trowbridge.
Openreach’s build rate remains on track – with Fibre-to-the-Premises reaching 47k new homes and businesses every week, with engineers laying around 770m of cable per minute – building Full Fibre to a new premise every 13 seconds.
Demand for Full Fibre broadband continues to grow with more than 1.3 million homes and businesses having already ordered a service, and Openreach ending the second quarter with a record high of 24.5k orders in the last week of September.
Twelve of Openreach’s Communication Provider (CP) customers have already signed up to the long term FTTP Equinox deal, which launched at the beginning of October. This will incentivise CPs to order FTTP where available – helping to further drive Full Fibre adoption.
“Reaching six million homes and businesses with Full Fibre represents nearly a quarter of our total build target, so is a significant milestone and underpins our commitment to build the largest and best Full Fibre network in the UK,” stated Clive Selley, Openreach CEO. “We’re building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK and that is testimony to our engineers and build partners who are working flat-out to deliver this life-changing technology to rural, urban and suburban communities all over the country and we’re delighted to be fleshing out our plans with more details about where we’ll be building.”
“More than a million customers are already enjoying our most revolutionary and reliable broadband ever and that number is growing all the time. That’s a great start, but there are millions more who could connect today – so I would urge people to check out our website to see when we’re coming to your street,” he concluded.
Overall, more than 2,500 towns, cities, boroughs, villages, and hamlets have so-far been included in Openreach’s Fibre First programme – and the build is fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025.
“I am delighted that we are working with Openreach to boost Britain’s broadband and level up access to the best digital connections,” added Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries. “This latest milestone shows our infrastructure revolution is bearing fruit and our £5 billion Project Gigabit will ensure hard-to-reach areas across the UK don’t miss out on faster and more reliable broadband.”