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Openreach Full Fibre rollout tops 7m homes

April 14, 2022

By Colin Mann

UK digital infrastructure provider Openreach has now built ultra-fast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to more than seven million homes and businesses across the UK, including more than two million in the hardest to reach ‘final third’ of the country.

Having already built the new technology to more than a quarter of its target footprint, Openreach is on track to reach 25 million premises by December 2026, passing more than 50,000 new homes and businesses every week. To put that in perspective – engineers are installing around 800 metres of cable every minute

Meanwhile, as part of its regular programme of build updates, the company has published plans to deliver the new gigabit-capable technology to 36 more locations across urban and rural Britain. Around half a million homes and businesses, including both rural and urban areas, have just been added to the plan in locations such as: Accrington, in Lancashire; Boldon, in Tyne & Wear; Dudley, West Midlands; Hornchurch, Greater London; Kemptown, East Sussex; Manningham, West Yorkshire; and West Houghton, in Greater Manchester, which means overall, more than 2,700 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are now included in the company’s build programme.

More than 1.5 million homes and businesses have already connected to the new network and demand continues to grow – with the company handling around 35,000 new orders every week.

Meanwhile 40 Communication Providers (CPs) including the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, have signed up to Openreach’s long-term wholesale Full Fibre pricing offer (known as Equinox), launched in October 2021. This will support CPs placing new orders on FTTP where available – helping to further drive Full Fibre adoption.

Openreach will also stop selling legacy analogue phone services and will give notice on a further 46 exchanges covering more than 380,000 premises where it is building Full Fibre, to encourage the adoption of new digital services. Openreach is giving Communication Providers (CPs) 12 months notification that it will no longer be selling copper-based products/services in these exchanges. This brings the total number of locations – now notified for ‘stop sell’ to  some 600 exchanges covering around five million premises.

“Over a whopping seven million homes can now connect to our Full Fibre network which is a fantastic achievement,” declared Clive Selley, Openreach CEO. “We’ve come a long way – it took eight years for us to pass our first million premises, but only four months to pass our latest million.”

“We’re the UK’s leading network builder – going further and faster than all our competitors put together, and we’re still getting faster and building further every week, every quarter, And that’s important because it signals to the markets that we’re delivering what we promised. This is a life-changing technology and we’re delighted to be adding more towns and villages to our build programme today.”

“We believe that full fibre is the future for the UK and that’s why we want to deliver full fibre broadband to 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026. The shift from copper to fibre will be every bit as significant as the move from analogue to digital and black and white TV to colour. By eventually retiring analogue phone lines, we will be creating a simplified network which allows us to meet the enhanced needs of an increasingly digital society,” he concluded.

The first phase of the Full Fibre roll out will continue to 2026.

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