Openreach has unveiled plans to roll out full fibre connectivity to an additional 551 towns and cities across the UK, covering around five million premises. The announcement forms part of its GBP15 billion (USD21 billion) deployment programme, under which it aims to reach 25 million homes and businesses across the country with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology. In a press release regarding its latest plans, Openreach – the network unit of BT Group – said it is currently making full fibre services available to around 43,000 new premises every week, while claiming that more than five million premises are now within its network footprint. Overall, more than 2,400 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are said to have been included in Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme to date.
Having outlined plans to reach more than six million rural and hard-to-reach homes and businesses across the UK with FTTP last month, Openreach’s latest expansion plans are more focused on urban locations, stretching from Bournemouth, in Dorset, Dunfermline, in Scotland, Kettering, in the East Midlands, to Sunderland in the North East, and Wrexham, in Wales. According to the network unit, planning work has already started with further details and timescales to be published every quarter on the company’s website as work progresses and detailed surveys are completed. Construction work is expected to take place in the period June 2021 to December 2026 and, following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – including Instalcom, JHG, Kier, KN Circet, Map Group, MJ Quinn, Morrison Telecom Services, nmcn and Telent – have been chosen to play a ‘crucial role’ in building the new network.
Commenting, Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: ‘Nobody’s building Full Fibre faster, further or at a higher quality than Openreach in the UK. Our engineers and build partners are working flat-out to deliver this life-changing technology to rural, urban and suburban communities all over the country and we’re delighted to be fleshing out our plans with more details about where and when we’ll be building.’