Openreach appoints Macfarlane to head Scottish FTTH campaign
Openreach, the last mile fibre and copper operation owned by BT, has made Jenni Macfarlane its service delivery director for Scotland.
She replaces Fraser Rowberry, who becomes chief engineer for Scotland in the BT-owned company, which delivers infrastructure for Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and other operators as well as BT and its EE mobile unit.
Macfarlane, who has been with the BT group since 2003, said of Openreach’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) plans: “It is such an exciting time to lead an industry-leading team through our ongoing transition to full fibre broadband. We have big ambitions that also come with big challenges and I am looking forward to guiding our Scottish team on this journey, continuing to deliver a world-class customer experience across the board.”
Rowberry will lead Openreach’s build of rural broadband to more than 200 towns and villages across Scotland. He will also oversee delivery of the company’s Reaching 100% contracts with the Scottish government to bring fast broadband to more than 100,000 of the nation’s most difficult-to-reach properties.
He said: “While I’m under no illusions about the scale of our ongoing delivery task, I also know it represents a huge opportunity to secure Scotland’s digital future. Better rural broadband brings myriad benefits to communities across the nation, and I’m constantly inspired by examples of our skilled engineers going above and beyond to deliver transformative full fibre in some of the hardest-to-reach locations imaginable.”
Openreach said it is spending £15 billion on fibre across the whole of the UK, aiming to reach 25 million premises by December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.
It is competing with companies such as CityFibre, which has just raised £4.9 billion in debt to build a fill-fibre network. It aims to connect eight million homes by 2025.