Openreach launches consultation on copper switch-off

22 Mar 2019

Openreach, the network arm of UK-based fixed line incumbent BT, has launched a consultation regarding the process of switching from its legacy copper infrastructure to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). According to ISPreview Openreach is seeking input on from communications providers on three key areas, specifically: how it builds its new fibre network; how the industry should migrate customers smoothly onto that network, once it has been constructed; and how Openreach should eventually retire the existing copper network.

Meanwhile, within its consultation Openreach was also said to have outlined several guiding principles which it sees as crucial to a successful transition between its legacy network and the new infrastructure. These include: building contiguous footprints within its exchange areas to avoid creating new not-spots; working closely with CPs to upgrade every customer in those areas quickly once the new network is built; offering a ‘compelling, simple’ portfolio of products that supports new retail voice and broadband services; upgrading the large majority of people voluntarily, whilst developing an industry process for late adopters; and withdrawing copper-based services progressively.

Commenting on the matter, Openreach’s MD for Customer, Katie Milligan, was cited as saying: ‘Our new network will place the UK at the forefront of the global digital race and provide a major boost to the UK economy, so we’re determined to create a plan that will benefit of every UK community, by upgrading customers quickly, smoothly and affordably … We believe this consultation is crucial to that process, and it will support further investment from across the industry.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Openreach