Openreach has named a further 67 locations that it aims to reach as part of its ongoing fibre-to-the-rollout (FTTP) rollout, with the deployment coming as part of what it terms ‘a new tranche of build’. Work on the new infrastructure will begin in March 2021 and will be carried out over a two-year period, its says, adding that the new locations to be covered stretch across the UK, from Alloway, in Ayrshire, to Helsby (Cheshire) and Ivybridge (South Devon).
Openreach also revealed an update to its website with a simplified view of its full fibre build programme, including indicative maps. It said it aims to continue to publish details of its build plans on a rolling basis, including new tranches of build when appropriate, updated on a quarterly basis and include details of the specific exchanges where FTTP is currently being built, has already been built, or where building will start within the next three months.
In separate but related news, British vendor Telent has announced that it has been selected by Openreach to help with the latter’s FTTP rollout. Specifically, Telent said it has been awarded a ‘lucrative’ contract to support the network deployment, confirming it will build new infrastructure for Openreach in twelve locations, those being: Bristol, Castleford, Coventry, Derby, Elmbridge, Huddersfield, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Plymouth, Walsall, Wednesbury and Worcester. According to Telent, it will play a ‘crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations’, with detailed planning activity said to already be under way, while construction is due to start ‘during the next 18 months’. As part of the contract, Telent will be responsible for construction tasks such as: surveying, building, testing and supporting Openreach to commission the network so that customers can place orders.
Openreach has reportedly already reached more than three million premises across the UK with full fibre technology, ‘including over a quarter in the hardest to reach, or final third of the country’. Further, it said it continues to accelerate the build of its FTTP footprint – claiming it is now making the technology available to a new home or business ‘every 20 seconds’ – while it added that it remains on track to deliver its target of reaching 4.5 million premises by 31 March 2021.