Openreach hits 10 million Full Fibre milestone
Openreach has hit a huge milestone in its upgrade of the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Openreach has now made its ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband network – the largest in the UK, available to 10 million homes, businesses and public services.
The location of the 10 millionth build is in Ketton, Rutland in the East Midlands of England.
Meeting the demands of modern life
The roll-out of Full Fibre broadband across the country is part of an ambitious £15bn infrastructure project to provide reliable, fast broadband that meets the needs of modern life.
Since the pandemic, the UK’s internet usage has soared, doubling in 2020 and increasing year on year with more data downloaded last year than ever before. The rise in usage is set to continue as technology becomes more sophisticated and integral to people’s daily lives, with social changes such as working from home and the boom in online learning.
Powering up public services
As well as improving the broadband that people use on a daily basis, the upgrade is set to improve the quality of UK public services.
Openreach has already made Full Fibre available to over 9,000 medical facilities including GP surgeries, hospitals and research labs across the country. Ultrafast broadband will benefit health services by improving connections with experts, remote monitoring of patients, easier access of records and faster appointments. The future applications are also exciting, such as the use of AI to achieve better health outcomes by helping review, triage and refer patients based on diagnostic scans and data.
Openreach has also made Full Fibre available to over 13,500 educational facilities such as nurseries, schools and universities, improving online learning facilities for students nationally.
Helping to tackle social challenges
The network transformation could also play a role in helping to tackle a range of social challenges - improving the lives of people across the country by bringing better technology and local services to areas which would benefit from them.
Openreach has so far made Full Fibre broadband available to more than 3 million premises in the hardest to reach, typically very rural, parts of the country - and over 3 million in areas identified by the Government as a priority for levelling up. Openreach has also made Full Fibre available to the top 25 areas identified by the Social Mobility Commission as least socially mobile, providing Full Fibre availability to 409,000 premises in these areas.
Growing the UK economy
Openreach’s network will also help to grow the UK economy by connecting people and businesses.
The Full Fibre transformation could give a £72bn boost to the output of the UK economy in 2030, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). This is the equivalent of 294,960 new SMEs being created across the country or adding 25 new businesses in every local council in the UK.
By providing increased capability for people to work from home, an estimated 431,000 new workers could enter the workforce by 2026. This will benefit older workers, parents and carers as groups that particularly benefit from remote, flexible working.
Clive Selley, CEO, Openreach, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in our transformation of the UK’s broadband. Not only will access to Full Fibre technology improve the speed and reliability of the internet connections used by people, businesses and public services, it also provides us with the infrastructure we need to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world. With this upgrade, we can improve the lives of people in the UK, offering economic opportunities, alleviating social challenges and creating the foundation for life-changing technology.
“Now we’re focused on the next phase of our build. Our engineers are building rapidly across the country and we already have plans in place that will see Full Fibre broadband reach over 25 million premises. We’re excited for the future that Full Fibre will create for everybody across the UK.”
 UK’s broadband hit record-breaking levels in 2022 (openreach.com)
 Ultrafast full fibre broadband is available to nearly 9,000 medical facilities including GP surgeries, hospitals, hospices and research labs, there are around 44,000 in the UK
 Ultrafast full fibre broadband is available to over 13,500 education facilities including nurseries, schools, colleges and universities, there are around 67,000 in the UK
 Area 3 definition - a geographic market comprising postcode sectors where there is unlikely to be material commercial deployment by rival networks. Definition is taken from para 7.6b on p 84 of WFTMR vol.2, found here
 Levelling-up priority, GOV.UK