Fibre Community Partnership

Partner with us to get faster Ultrafast Full Fibre

broadband to you and your community

A Full Fibre option for communities outside of build plans

Is your community not in any Ultrafast Full Fibre build plan? Don't worry, there's still hope.

We’re proud that our Fibre Community Partnership (FCP) programme is helping to connect people all over the country. 

It's an option that we offer to communities that are outside of our own build plans or the plans or other companies and publicly subsidised projects.

The way it works is simple. All you need to do is use our Fibre Checker to express your interest in Ultrafast Full Fibre – if you’re eligible for a Fibre Community Partnership, we’ll send you an email with all the information you’ll need to get started.

Don’t worry if you don’t receive an email inviting you to register for a Fibre Community Partnership – that just means it’s likely your area is part of a future build plan, even if it hasn’t been announced yet.

Express my interest in Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband

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What would Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband give me and my community?

Next generation Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband is our fastest and most reliable broadband. At 1 Gbps it's up to 10 times faster than the average home broadband speed, which means you and your family have the freedom to work, game, stream, and chat all at once, without skipping a beat. It also comes with the option of a future-proof digital phone line so you and your community will be ready to meet all the demands of our increasingly digital world.

 

What is a Fibre Community Partnership?

A Fibre Community Partnership is how we offer a Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband to areas which aren't part of our current rollout plans. We work with the local community to arrange a customised installation plan - whether it's installing new fibre for the first time, or to upgrade existing connections.
 

Why partner with Openreach?

We've already delivered fibre broadband to thousands of homes and businesses across the UK through our Fibre Community Partnership programme.

We'll help you with joint funding arrangements, which means the costs are spread between Openreach, Government voucher schemes and your community. We’ll then build the most affordable solution that also  meets your needs.

Our Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband network is the UK's largest network. It uses the most advanced fibre technology and, because it's an open network, offers maximum choice and value - so you’ll be able to choose from any of the service providers in your area and get the package that suits you best. 
 

How you can partner with us

There are three ways of funding a Fibre Community Partnership - if you're eligible, we'll help you find out which would be the best fit:

  • Voucher Funded – using UK Government funding from the Department of  Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Community Funded - co-funded by the community and Openreach
  • Community and Voucher Funded - using a combination of DCMS vouchers and co-funding by the community and Openreach.

Voucher funded Fibre Community Partnership

Under the UK Gigabit Voucher scheme, being run by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), every eligible rural home, small business and sole trader can get can a voucher. Eligible homes can get a voucher worth up to £1,500, and eligible small businesses and sole traders can get up to £3,500. The vouchers are free, but Government terms and conditions apply.

How do I know if my community could get vouchers?

If you express an interest in a Fibre Community Partnership, we can get in touch when we resume Fibre Community Partnership registrations for your area. Once you’ve registered, we’ll review your community and let you know if the addresses you’ve listed meet the criteria for DCMS funding. We'll also let you know if your community is eligible for a fully voucher funded scheme. This means that if all the listed addresses pledge and validate their vouchers then have Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband installed, the value of the vouchers paid by the DCMS would cover the costs in full. Your community wouldn't have to pay a penny more.

Once we know your community is eligible, we’ll put in a funding application to the DCMS on your behalf.  When this is has been secured, we'll create an online portal for your community to pledge their vouchers and share the link with you at the right point in the process.

What your community would need to do and when

Your community would then have three months to achieve the target number of pledged and validated vouchers required to cover the cost of the network build.  This means it's important to involve as many people in the community as possible - the more people involved, the more funding is available towards the pledge target.

The Pledging Process

Pledging your vouchers couldn’t be easier. Just go to the online portal built for your community, type in your postcode and complete a short form with your personal details. 

By pledging your voucher you're agreeing to the Pledge terms and conditions.

Hitting the community target

After three months the pledges will be reviewed to see whether the target is likely to be reached. This means that if your community is eligible for vouchers it’s important to come together, and pledge your vouchers as soon as possible. 

Keeping your voucher application on track

We'll only share your details with the DCMS as part of your voucher application, and they'll use them to communicate with you at key stages of the process. They will ask you to validate your pledge and to confirm when your service has been installed.

Communications from the DCMS will be sent from the following email address:   gigabit.vouchers@notifications.service.gov.uk. Please respond to these to keep your voucher application on track.

Building the network

If the pledged and validated vouchers hit the target set out, we'll then go ahead with planning and building Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband for your community. However, if the value of the pledges doesn’t cover the cost of the build the scheme may not proceed.

Placing your order

Once the network has been built everyone who pledged their voucher will need to place an order for Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband and confirm when their service has been installed to the DCMS. Only then will the funds be released to Openreach.

If a pledging resident or business decides not to place an order for any reason then they may be liable for the value of their voucher as per the pledge terms.

 

Community funded Fibre Community Partnership

If you’re not eligible for Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) funding via the Government's Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, your community can still come together and explore a co-funded full fibre option with us.

With our help, arranging a Fibre Community Partnership with Openreach couldn't be easier. We'll work with you to provide costs for delivering Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband to your Community. 

Once funding is arranged, a Legal Entity for the community will need to be formed and enter into a contract with Openreach.

 

Community and Voucher funded Fibre Community Partnership

Occasionally a combination of Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Gigabit Broadband vouchers and community raised funds is needed to fund the network build. 

This can come about because not all of the properties in the area are eligible for vouchers or because too few DCMS vouchers have been pledged. 

We’ll be there to support both you and the community at this stage - we'll answer any questions and make sure that the community’s voucher application goes through and is ready to go once the network is live. 

You'll also need to create a Legal Entity and enter into a contract with Openreach so that you’re in a position to pay the funding shortfall.

 

Partner with us - you'll be in safe hands

Image of fibre connecting people

2,139

Communities provided with Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband by partnering with us

Image of a house

202,900

Homes and businesses can get Fibre broadband thanks to their Fibre Community Partnership

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£84.1m

Of Government Gigabit vouchers committed by 1350 communities to bring fibre to their homes and businesses

Fibre Community Partnership - Step by step guide

Check your postcode and express your interest

Check your postcode and express your interest

Check your postcode and express your interest

Use our postcode checker to let us know you’re interested in Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband. It might already be available to you, coming soon, or you might already be in our build plans for the future. 

If you’re not currently in our plans for Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband, then a Fibre Community Partnership (FCP) could be a good alternative. If you’re eligible for an FCP, we’ll get in touch and invite you to register an FCP account.

Get local support

Get local support

Get local support

Once you've registered  an FCP account and told us the addresses you'd like to involve, we'll review your community and let you know what type of partnership would be a good fit. We'll also take you through the next steps that you'll need to take.

It's important to remember that, no matter what type of partnership is best for your community, they all rely on local backing. Talk to your neighbours and local businesses about the benefits of fibre broadband and start drumming up support. We’ll provide some advice on how to do this. 

Voucher funded partnership

Voucher funded partnership

Voucher funded partnership

In this scheme, your community needs to pledge and then validate their vouchers within three months. If the number of vouchers pledged and validated aren’t enough to cover the costs of the build, a voucher-funded partnership may be bought to a halt.

It’s important to make your community aware that they should only pledge their voucher if they intend to buy an Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband service once the build is complete. They’ll need to validate their pledge and confirm when their service has been installed before the Government can release the value of the voucher to Openreach.

If a pledging resident or business decides not to place an order for any reason then they may be liable for the value of their voucher as per the pledge terms.

Partnerships involving community funding

Partnerships involving community funding

Partnerships involving community funding

For partnerships involving any community funding we’ll estimate the cost of bringing full fibre to your area. We’ll cover some of the costs and also take into account any voucher funding that your community may be eligible for. The price we estimate for you will be what we call ‘the gap’ - this just means it's the amount your community will need to pay, as opposed to the total cost.

You’ll now need to share this with your community. If any properties are eligible for government vouchers get them to pledge as soon as possible. You might also want to talk to other local people or businesses about helping with funding, if you haven’t done that already.

Once you know whether your community wants to go ahead or not you'll need to tell us, you're not committed to anything at this point.

Now it’s time to get the community together to raise the money. We can help you with fundraising ideas as we know what's been successful in other partnerships.

You’ll need to pay 50 per cent of the community funded costs when you sign the contract. Then you’ll pay the rest of the balance when we finish the installation -  usually, this is around a year after signing the contract.

Plan and build through to place your order

Plan and build through to place your order

Plan and build through to place your order

Whatever type of partnership you have, once funding has been confirmed and any contracts signed, it’s over to our Openreach engineers to build the infrastructure. This won’t happen overnight, with the average network build taking up to 12 months – but we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

As soon as everything’s in place, you’ll be able to order service from any of the broadband providers that sell in your area. Remember, the Government will only pay the value of pledged and validated vouchers when residents have confirmed that the service has been installed. Any voucher-funded properties that don't order a service may be liable to pay the value of the voucher.

The small print

  • Contracts

    Any contracts required will be between a legal entity representing the community and Openreach. The contract enables us to invoice the community for their part of the network build costs.

  • Legal entity requirements

    A legal entity is an association, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, trust, or individual that has legal standing in the eyes of law. A legal entity has legal capacity to enter into agreements or contracts, assume obligations, incur, and pay debts, sue, and be sued, and to be held responsible for its actions.

    In many cases there are existing legal entities within a community that can be used to contract, for example a resident’s association, or somebody who has a small company. Where this isn't the case, communities will need to set up their own legal entity. There is a small charge to set up a legal entity and we suggest you add this to the overall cost of your new fibre infrastructure.

    We can advise on the best way to approach this requirement once you have applied, but in the meantime, the following sites may be helpful:

    Setting up a business

    Setting up a Community Interest Company

    Register your Community Interest Company using the online incorporation process.

  • Costs

    The exact amount will depend on how much work we'll need to do to build Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband in your area.

    Where a partnership is fully funded by the DCMS's Voucher scheme we'll only proceed when we've reached the target number of pledged and validated vouchers. The community won't have to pay anything more as long as those who’ve pledged and validated their vouchers get an Ultrafast Full Fibre service installed as soon as it becomes available. If a pledging resident or business decides not to place an order for any reason then they may be liable for the value of their voucher as per the pledge terms.

    For Community funded and Community and Voucher funded Partnerships we'll give you an estimate of your costs early on in the process, so you can decide if you'd like to go ahead. You'll only be asked to cover costs above those of our commercial model. When you agree to proceed, we'll ask you to pay 50 per cent of your costs when you sign the contract before we start work, and the final 50 per cent when we finish.

  • Timescales and Service Provider contracts

    Once the build starts it will take up to 12 months to complete, and prices and contracts may change by the time you can place your order. If you’re in contract now you may be out of contract by the time you can order. If your contract is due to expire while the network is being built you might want to consider postponing entering into a new contract until you can order Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband. Full Fibre installation and ongoing monthly contractual costs vary depending on the service provider and package. It's worth researching and considering your options while we're building the network.

    We’ll let everyone know when the technology is available to order. For schemes involving voucher funding the DCMS will contact everyone again and ask them to confirm that they're connected to the new fibre infrastructure, only then will they release the value of the voucher to Openreach. If a voucher is pledged but service is not installed for any reason the pledger may be liable for the value of their voucher as per the pledge terms.

  • Personal data

    Any personal data we capture will only be processed in accordance with our Privacy Policy.