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A romp back through our highlights of 2019

12 Dec 2019

2019 has been a busy year in Openreach’s history – these are our highlights.

In January we announced that we were recruiting 3,000 new engineers, this was in addition to the 3,500 new recruits the previous year. Since then our new trainee engineers have completed their training at one of our new state-of-the-art training centres, helping us accelerate our plans to deploy Full Fibre broadband connections across the country.

February saw our Fibre and Network Delivery team adopt a new tool, called Qlik Sense, that reduced the time it took to install business fibre connections. 

In March we announced that we'd be fibre'ing up the whole of the city of Salisbury in what is expected to be the fastest city-wide network build in the UK.

"Openreach employs more veterans and reservists than any other company in the UK"

In April, to celebrate reaching our millionth home with access to Full Fibre broadband, we provided one lucky family with a year’s free broadband - since then we have built Full Fibre to circa one million more homes and businesses across the UK.

In May we stepped up our build plans, accelerating from a target of three to four million homes and businesses with access to a Full Fibre service by the end of March 2021.

In June we lent our support to Armed Forces Day. Openreach employs more veterans and reservists than any other company in the UK. 


In July we announced 36 new locations that will benefit from our future-proof Full Fibre broadband. We turbo-charged our build rate – doubling the number of premises reached with Full Fibre the previous year and reaching a new home or business with our new network every 30 seconds.

In August Ulster Rugby unveiled their new kit, with Openreach as the proud new sponsor – a first for us. At the same time, we continued to invest to make Full Fibre available to 325,000 premises across Northern Ireland by the summer of 2021.

In  September, Director of Major programmes in Scotland, Andy Hepburn, was keen to share some of the amazing background to our fibre broadband build in Scotland. We already reach more than 2.6 million Scottish homes and businesses, and 97% of Scottish premises can now connect to fibre broadband. 

As part of our year long support of the International Women's Day campaign, #BalanceforBetter, we spoke to some of the women who have chosen to build their careers with us - like Laura Whelan, who shared her journey from graduate to Partnership Director with us in her October blog. We also managed to double the number of female trainee engineers working for us this year.

In November a special Openreach commissioned report, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, looked at the potential benefits of fully fibre’ing the UK. The research revealed how getting Full Fibre to everyone could provide a £59 billion boost to UK productivity by 2025, enabling 400,000 more people to work from home, and helping save 300 million commuting trips each year.

This month, reaching two million premises with Full Fibre means we’re on track to meet our four million target by the end of March 2021. That's helped us push Full Fibre coverage for all networks up to around 10% of the UK. Read more in our interview with ISPreview.co.uk

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.