Questions about fibre
broadband availability

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

  • 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 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.

  • 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 95 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.

  • Your exchange needs to be enabled before we can upgrade the associated cabinets.

    Please note it can take up to two weeks after an exchange goes live before it appears in the accepting orders file.

    You can download the exchange rollout information in pdf or excel format below.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 gov.uk 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 £13 billion into our network. And we now manage more than 160 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 £13 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:      

  • 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.