Openreach announces fibre deployment progress

13 December 2011 |

BT’s Openreach subsidiary has announced the addition of 178 exchanges to its fibre deployment programme.

The exchanges are expected to be enabled in 2012, covering 1.8 million homes and businesses. Once the upgrade programme is completed, Openreach claims it will have completed 80% of its fibre footprint.

Openreach also claims that its mainstream fibre broadband product will offer speeds of 40Mbps and that it expects these speeds to double in 2012.

Olivia Garfield, CEO of Openreach, said: “We continue to make tremendous strides with our fibre programme. Super-fast broadband is already within reach of more than six million premises today and we are on track to pass 10 million premises next year.

The company plans to cover two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014, and is in the process of bidding for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds to cover the final third in rural areas. If successful the company claims that it could make fibre available to 90% of premises in the next five to six years. Access to the fibre network will also be offered to service providers on an equivalent wholesale basis.

BT CEO Ian Livingston announced the company’s vision for fibre based services in the UK last week, for more information click here.

In other news, the UK regulator Ofcom announced in its draft annual plan that it does not expect 4G to be widely available across the country until 2015, with 4G expected to be rolled out during 2013-14. The revised forecast comes as a result of the UK spectrum auction being pushed back until late 2012 or 2013. The auction has been delayed by infighting between UK mobile operators.