Openreach publishes update to Full Fibre build plans with 12 new locations


Openreach launch new simplified online map showing when and where Full Fibre network is being built.

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Openreach, the UK’s largest wholesale broadband network, has published updated, more detailed plans about where and when it is building ultra-fast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband across the UK.

As part of its regular programme of build updates, Openreach has also announced 12 new locations where it plans to deliver gigabit-capable technology to a further 184k homes and businesses.

The locations are predominantly in London with areas including Bayswater, Chiswick, Finchley, Holborn, Kensington Gardens, South Kensington, Leagrave, Pimlico, Skyport(inc. the area around Heathrow) Stratford and Wembley, as well as the village of Healing in North East Lincolnshire.

Openreach has also updated its website to include a range of details about its largest commercial build programmes[1], giving more information about where and when the build will start in each exchange location, using one of five new simplified categories:

•        We’ll be building in this exchange in the future

•        We’ll be building here soon, with services available in the next 12 months

•        We’re building in this exchange right now

•        We’ve finished the main part of our build in this exchange

•        This exchange isn’t in our major build programme

Overall, 2,800 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are now included in the company’s programme. Openreach remains on-target to reach 25 million homes and businesses with Full Fibre by December 2026, and its new network already reaches more than nine million premises - including around 2.9m in the hardest to reach ‘final third’ of the country.

Openreach is currently passing more than 60k new homes and businesses every week and 2.5m homes and businesses have already connected to an ultrafast service using the new network. Demand continues to grow with record numbers of orders in the last three months.

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said: “Over time, we’ve learnt more and more about building at a large scale, and we want our plans to be as clear and comprehensive as possible. So, we’ve adjusted our published build plans to hopefully make them easier to understand.

“As the nation’s leading network builder we’re building full fibre pretty much everywhere so we’re regularly adding new build locations and giving more clarity around timings.

“Despite the economic challenges, we’re now building this transformational technology to well over three million homes a year – and we expect to get to even more over the next 12 months. We’re going faster than any builder I’m aware of in Europe.”

The new look Openreach Full Fibre build plan brings together information on the expected timing of its major urban and rural build programmes providing a simpler view of when and where build is happening.[2] Timings are also now based around the calendar year and on when some customers can expect to be able to order the first services, instead of the previous financial year cycle from April to April.

Openreach will update the build information a minimum of every three months – including to adjust the timings of any areas that have moved back or been brought forward in the plan due to, for example, operational reasons. We will also continue to highlight when a location gets added or removed from the plan.

For the most personalised view, people can continue to use the Openreach Fibre Checker where they can submit their postcode details to find out what broadband connectivity is available at their own address.

The new map data will also show those exchanges where Openreach has stopped selling legacy copper-based products and services (where Full Fibre is available to order) because a majority of premises have access to ultrafast Full Fibre in an exchange area. So far, more than 670 exchanges have been notified as ‘stop sell’ exchanges – covering close to six million premises, with just over three million of those premises in exchange areas where the sale of copper products has been actively stopped.

About Openreach

Openreach Limited is the UK’s national digital network business.

We’re 38000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 690 communications providers like BT, SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen, and our broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 31.8m premises. At more than 190 million kilometres, it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,798 times.

Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network, which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We aim to bring this £15bn ultrafast, Full Fibre network to 25 million premises by December 2026.

We’ve passed more than 9m premises already and are building like fury, reaching an average of 62,000 premises a week.

To help build the new fibre network and deliver better service across the country, we’ve created and filled around 10,000 apprenticeship roles in the last three years.

We’re also building greener – our fibre network uses less energy and helps people cut emissions, and we’re transitioning the UK’s second largest commercial fleet to electric, with a target of 2030.

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed unit of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2022, we reported revenue of £5,441m. 

For more information, visit www.openreach.com

[1] Programmes previously separately defined as “FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs” and “Market Towns and Villages”

[2] Previously our map data featured our Fibre Cities programme, phased over a 2 year period, the rural build programme, phased over a five year period – with other build programme phases layered on top.