Openreach, the infrastructure arm of British fixed line incumbent BT, has named the first nine locations that will benefit from a new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) product specifically designed for SMEs, offering downlink speeds of up to 1Gbps. The company noted that the rollout forms part of its wider plan to make ultrafast broadband available to up to one million businesses by the end of 2020 using both FTTP and G.fast technologies.
Openreach has confirmed that its first phase of deployment will focus on SMEs located in high streets, science and business parks and clusters of businesses that do not currently have access to fibre broadband. The first areas to benefit include parts of Bath, Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford, alongside the areas of Westminster, the City and Holborn in London. With the new infrastructure to be rolled out over the next nine months, it is expected that communications providers will be able to start offering ultrafast speeds to businesses from December 2016. Further deployment phases are planned, with ‘hundreds of thousands of businesses’ set to benefit from the FTTP roll out by the end of 2020, and the expansion of the FTTP footprint to also eventually benefit hundreds of thousands of adjacent residential homes in the targeted areas.
Commenting on the matter, Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: ‘Our aim is to make ultrafast broadband available to twelve million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 … Openreach has been trialling new deployment methods for FTTP in Bradford and I am pleased to say the trials have progressed very well. Now that we have proved the new techniques we will begin our wider roll-out, starting with these nine new locations.’