Openreach to speed up its fibre rollout
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Clive Selley, Openreach’s CEO
What a superfarce. BT should have done this years ago. Thank goodness for altnets like hyperoptic, ...

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Openreach has today launched its ‘fibre first programme’ – which includes accelerating the company’s rollout of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) by 50 per cent, with the new aim of reaching three million homes and businesses in the UK by the end of 2020.

The BT-owned company has announced that it will start rolling out FTTP in a few months in an initial eight cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.

“Openreach needs to prove it can build FTTP at scale for a competitive cost, said Clive Selley, Openreach’s CEO. “Last year, our consultation with industry helped us identify a set of enablers to help us do this. For example, we need a supportive public policy and regulatory environment that encourages infrastructure investment. We need to get the costs of delivering fibre down and ensure that there is demand for and take up of the new FTTP platform.

“We are already making progress for example – we’ve halved the cost of delivering fibre all the way to people’s homes and we’re piloting new ways of working with local government to cut red tape, simplify wayleaves and traffic management. We are also working with our wholesale customers on how to achieve rapid take-up on the new platform and get the incremental revenue needed to help pay for it.”

Cityfibre, which claims to be the “UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure”, responded to Openreach’s announcement. “As a business founded to deliver a new digital infrastructure platform for the UK, we welcome any contribution, from any source, that supports a drive towards national coverage. Today’s announcement from Openreach is a clear response to competition from CityFibre and other alternative full fibre infrastructure builders,” it said in a statement.

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I live in third-world South London in terms of broadband and I will be deceased before FTTP appears in my area. London is classified as a world class city yet Romania and other countries leave us standing in terms of broadband.
I have contacted all the fibre companies and none have plans for South London.

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This is a move they have made after being shamed by ofcom for failing to get high speed internet to peoples homes (we are even behind some developing countries). Now they will be putting all their resource into these 8 major cities, guess what that will mean for the already severely behind rural areas of the country?
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What a superfarce. BT should have done this years ago. Thank goodness for altnets like hyperoptic, cityfibre, gigaclear et al, they will force openreach to invest in the infrastructure - but it is probably too late, we are a third world digital nation. The rural areas still exist on dial up and satellite thanks to bt profits going into pension funds, million pound bonuses and football games.
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