Openreach to deploy full fibre to 227 more rural areas

GPR kit in action - Openreach NEW.jpg

Openreach has outlined its plans to build out full fibre to 227 market towns and villages across the UK within the next 14 months.

The news forms part of Openreach’s previous announcement where it laid out its plans to raise its target to connect more than 4 million premises with ultrafast FTTP technology by 2020/2021 with an even larger goal to connect more than 15 million premises by mid-2020’s.

“Our full fibre build programme is going great guns - having passed over 2 million premises already on the way to our 4m target by March 2021. We’re now building at around 26,000 premises a week in over 100 locations – reaching a new home or business every 23 seconds That’s up from 13,000 premises a week this time last year,” said Clive Selley Openreach’s CEO.

“We intend to build a significant portion of our full-fibre network in these harder to reach areas of the UK and are announcing 227 locations today. Our ambition is to reach 15 million premises by mid-2020s if right investment conditions are in place. Currently, the biggest missing piece of this puzzle is getting an exemption from business rates on building fibre cables which is critical for any fibre builder’s long-term investment case.”

Focusing on new locations such as Aberdare in South Wales, and Saxmundham in Suffolk, the plans build on the company’s successful cost busting village trials at the end of 2019 where engineers developing a range of new tools, skills and techniques to help Openreach extend its full fibre network into areas previously considered too complex or expensive to upgrade.

“Marketing is at the heart of our business and now we can really make the most of the internet to reach out to customers,” added Ben Parker, operations director at Callestick Farm. “The key benefit is that we will now be able to use the cloud and cloud-based applications within our business operations. This should help us build still closer relationships with customers and will also remove the need for travel to some meetings, so this will bring cost and time savings as well. Everyday emailing, internet banking and online research is also so much faster and this all adds up, saving us time and increasing productivity."

To date Openreach has reach over two million premises with full fibre, a quarter of which is within rural areas.