Questions about fibre

Find out how and where we're upgrading
the Openreach network

  • I’ve used the fibre checker. What do I do next?

    If your area is shown as “accepting orders”
    You can order fibre broadband. You’ll need to contact a broadband provider to do it.

    If you've already contacted a broadband provider and were unable to place an order, then fill in this form.

    If you live in an area which has fibre but the cabinet isn't ready
    You can’t order fibre yet but we’re working on it.

    If we’re reviewing your area
    You can’t order fibre broadband, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help – we’ve previously worked with hundreds of communities to get them fibre broadband through a Community Fibre Partnership.

    How Community Fibre Partnerships work
    There needs to be a joint funding arrangement in place, where we contribute as much of the cost as we can, and the community funds the rest. We’ll then build the most affordable solution, and advise on any grants or funding you might be able to get to help pay for your part.

    Want to know more? Find out about Community Fibre Partnerships here.

  • Why is it taking so long for you to upgrade your network for fibre?

    The short answer is that it’s a really complicated engineering programme. So there’s a lot to do. We’re working as quickly as we can – fibre broadband is already available in more than 96.59 per cent of the UK.

    Why is it so complicated?
    As well as working on installing equipment in our exchanges, we’re also overlaying part of our existing copper network (the part between exchanges and green cabinets) with fibre. And we’re running fibre direct to homes and businesses too. This involves lots of civil engineering work – in lots of different, and sometimes hard to reach or remote, locations.

  • Where are we building Ultrafast Full Fibre?

    We publish regular updates on where we'll be building our Ultrafast network on our where and when page.

  • My broadband provider’s line checker says that the date fibre broadband will be available in my area has changed. Why?

    Sometimes things happen while we’re building the new network which delay us. For example:

    • we might not have been able to agree a location for the cabinet with the local authority
    • it’s taking us longer than we thought to get permission to close roads or manage traffic to do the work
    • we might not be able to lay our cables or underground duct routes where we need to – this could be because there are already other utility cables there, or other obstacles like blocked ducts
    • we might have come across unexpected things like archaeology or a protected wildlife species
    • we might be having trouble getting power at the location (we’re not allowed to use domestic or street lighting supplies for our cabinets).

    So if something like this has happened in your area, that might be the reason why the date’s changed. We can’t comment on other companies’ line checkers though, so if you have questions you’ll need to talk to them directly.

    Have a look at our fibre checker
    Sometimes it takes a while for information on broadband providers sites to update. You can find the latest information for your area on our fibre checker.

  • There’s another cabinet near me that’s already up and running. Can I get fibre broadband from there instead?

    Unfortunately not. We can’t move a line that’s already connected to a home or business from one cabinet to another.

  • Your fibre checker can’t give me an answer on whether I can get fibre. Why not?

    Sometimes we can’t tell from your postcode which of our green street cabinets provides your broadband. That’s because some postcodes have more than one cabinet. Or it might be that your broadband comes directly from the exchange, rather than through a cabinet. If either of these apply to you, you should talk to a broadband provider to see which services are available to you.

  • Last time I used the fibre checker it said I was in plan, now it says I'm not what do I do?

    Due to the complex nature of the network our plans occasionally change. For a variety of reasons this can cause some areas to be removed from their expected fibre roll out.

    This doesn't mean your area will never receive fibre. It's worth regularly accessing the fibre checker, as we're constantly working towards our ambition of 25 million homes and businesses connected to fibre in the coming years and your area may be added to future plans.

  • I’ve been told the cabinet my home is connected to doesn’t provide fibre broadband. Is that it for me?

    There are some areas where technical limitations mean we can’t build our standard fibre network. This makes it too expensive for us to offer fibre broadband there.

    This doesn’t mean we can’t do anything though. We’re always looking at ways to overcome these limitations. Or you might want to think about a Community Fibre Partnership. This is where we contribute some of the costs of fibre broadband and the community funds the rest.

    Want to know more?

    Find out more about Community Fibre Partnerships here.

  • How do you decide where you’re going to put a new fibre broadband cabinet?

    First we have to find the right location – a new cabinet has to be within 100 metres of an existing one. Once we’ve done that we then check:

    • there’s access to power and the other infrastructure we need
    • that the new cabinet won’t block pavements or access to roads
    • if there are other utility companies’ cables underground, or any other obstacles
    • how the cabinet will look – we have to take into account its visual impact in some places, for example conservation areas
    • that we won’t put the security of any properties next to the cabinet at risk
    • that it’ll be easy for us to get to the cabinet later for installations and any maintenance we need to do.

    Do you need planning permission for new cabinets?
    Not usually. Although we might if the location we’ve chosen is in a national park, conservation area or other area of special interest.

  • I represent a local group and we want to know when fibre broadband will be available in our area. Who do we contact?

    You can use our fibre checker to see our latest plans for your area. Or you can talk to your local authority. When we decide to upgrade our network in a particular area, we give details of this to the chief executive of the local authority and its regeneration or planning departments.

    If there aren’t any plans for fibre broadband in your area
    The Government is supporting investment to get faster broadband to as many people as possible across the UK (beyond the 95 per cent level reached in December 2017). There are lots of different projects happening in different regions that could apply to you – find out more on the website. And if you live in Scotland, there are plans underway to deliver fast broadband access to every home and business – find out more.

    You should also check with your local authority. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re likely to be covered in the next round of Government subsidy.

    Another option is for your community to privately fund upgrading your cabinet. If you’d like to find out more, please fill in this form.

    What we’re doing to get fibre to more people
    We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need in their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £14 billion into our network. And we now manage more than 193 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. We’re continuing to take that network further – making fast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

  • Who can I talk to locally about working together to get funding for fibre broadband in our area?

    As a first step, you should contact your local authority. They’ll be able to tell you who to speak to.

    You might also want to have a look at our Community Fibre Partnerships.

  • I live in a rural location and I can’t get decent broadband speeds. Will I ever get fibre broadband?

    We’re doing our best to make sure people in rural areas have access to fast fibre broadband. For example, we’ve invested more than £14 billion in improvements to our network. That means we’re making superfast broadband available to thousands more homes and businesses every week, wherever they are in the country. To see our latest plans for your area, please use our fibre checker

    No plans for fibre broadband in  your area yet?
    A Community Fibre Partnership might work for you. This is where we contribute some of the costs of getting fibre broadband in place, and a community pays for the rest. Find out more.

    The Government is also supporting investment to get fast broadband coverage to as many people as possible. There are lots of different schemes available which might work for you:      

  • Is there anything I can do to make sure fibre broadband comes to my cabinet?

    As a first step, we suggest you talk to your local authority. They get funding from the Government to improve access to fibre broadband through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. You might be able to help them decide which areas to prioritise for the next wave of BDUK funding.

    Another option is a Community Fibre Partnership, where we contribute some of the costs towards upgrading your area, and the community funds the rest.  Find out more about Community Fibre Partnerships.

  • Rod and rope process

    What will you actually be doing?

    We’ll be inserting a rod into our underground duct and pushing it through to the chamber in the footpath.  We’ll then pull a rope back through the duct and secure it by your property as shown in the photos.

    Image of rodding the duct
    Image of a duct access point with rope secured

    Rodding the duct

    Duct access point with rope secured

    Why are you doing this?

    We’ve been upgrading the broadband network in your street, and you can now order a faster, more reliable and future-proof ‘full-fibre’ service from the communications providers using our network.

    The decision about whether to order this new service is entirely up to you, and your current broadband service won’t be affected. Meanwhile, we want to make the fibre installation process quick and easy if you decide to upgrade in the future. And for that reason we’ll be doing some preparatory checks of the underground ducts in your street and connecting to your property.

    How will this affect me?

    One of our contract partners will be doing the work and they’ll knock on your door before they start to identify themselves and let you know they’ll be doing the work.  You won’t need to be in as all  the work is carried out externally. If you'd rather we didn't do this for your property or want to talk to us about this please contact us.

    The work usually takes no more than 20 minutes and we’ll use a rod in our underground duct to check it’s clear of obstructions.  We won’t need to dig up your drive or garden and won’t leave any mess, any excess rope will be taken away and the duct access point will be secured.

    Will I have to move onto the full fibre service?

    No but you’ll be able to easily upgrade to Full Fibre in the future if you decide to.  To find out more about ordering “Fibre To The Premises”, and to see a full list of communications providers offering services on this upgraded network, please go to

  • FTTP

Installing Full Fibre to your premises

Have you recently ordered Full Fibre? Watch our video to find what to expect from us and what you can do to get ready to be connected.