Openreach has named another 36 locations where it plans to begin rolling out fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology over the next twelve months. In a press release regarding the plans, the network infrastructure provider said that its announcement was a clear demonstration that it was pressing ahead with the investment in its ‘multi-billion pound’ Fibre First programme, adding that it remains on trach to achieve a target of four million premises covered by March 2021.
The full list of newly-named locations for the FTTP rollout is: Antrim, Barry, Bathgate, Ballyclare, Ballymoney, Ballynahinch, Banbridge, Broxburn, Broadstairs, Bromsgrove, Burgh Heath, Chelmsford, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Craigavon, Doncaster, Downpatrick, Dungannon, Epsom, Ewell, Greater Belfast (Carryduff & Castlereagh), Kilmarnock, Limavady, Magherafelt, Newcastle, Omagh, Ramsgate, Saintfield, Strabane, St Albans, Solihull, Slough, Sheffield, Torquay, Whitburn (West Lothian) and Worthing.
With the latest rollout plans bringing the total number of locations covered under the Fibre First programme to more than 70, Openreach, meanwhile, once again reiterated that it could boost FTTP coverage to 15 million premises by ‘the mid-2020s and beyond’, although only ‘if the conditions are right’. Specifically, it said that one headwind to any investment is the business rates it must pay on the fibre it installs, arguing this ‘actively disincentivises investment and is something that affects all fibre building projects’.