Where are we building?
At Openreach, we’ve committed to making full Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband available to four million homes and businesses by the end of March 2021. And in doing that, we’re determined to be as open and transparent about our build programme* as we can possibly be.
That’s why we now publish a range of details about our FTTP 'Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme' on our public website. From October 2019** this includes the locations we intend to start build in and the total number of telephone exchanges that we plan to reach in those locations up to March 2021.
We also publish details of the specific exchanges where we’re currently building FTTP, where it’s already been built, or where we intend to start building within the next three months. And we’ll update all of this information as appropriate every three months.
The list of locations and exchanges are reviewed and agreed in advance of publication by our Fibre First Steering Group, to make sure all the published data is accurate and reflects our build plans at the time of publication.
We don’t intend to change these plans or the list of exchanges. But building a new broadband network across the UK is a huge and complex national engineering programme – so some changes may occur where we encounter unforeseen obstacles.
For example, the start of any building work will be subject to us getting the right level of support from relevant local authorities, and our own operational capability and efficiency. This includes having access to multi-dwelling units like apartment blocks.
And when it comes to the actual build, we might discover conditions on the ground which restrict the proportion of an exchange area that we can upgrade. Considering the published plans at exchange level, our intention is always to upgrade the greater majority of the exchange and we’ll certainly flag when any information for a location has changed.
In the event that a town, borough or city is removed from the list, we will always explain the reasons behind that decision.
These commitments support the Government’s strategy, as set out in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, to accelerate commercial full fibre network investment across the UK as well as give our stakeholders (like council leaders, planners, MPs, our CP customers and the general public) a view of where and when we intend to build, providing them with valuable information to make informed decisions on their FTTP investments and sales' effort and to help encourage people to take up a full fibre service when it arrives. You can read more about our specific approach to publishing build plans below.
Our approach to publishing our FTTP build plans includes loading on our website:
- A list of towns and cities in which we are already building FTTP as part of our towns and cities build programme, or in which we intend to start building up to March 2021. In respect of London and larger cities we also specify the boroughs.
- The total number of exchanges – within the announced locations – in which we intend to build scale FTTP up to March 2021, plus a backdated list of previously announced locations.
- The specific exchanges where we are currently building, where we have already built*, and where we intend to start building within the next 3 months.
We committed to:
- update the list and maps on our website every three months, as appropriate
- add details of specific exchanges in which we intend to start building within three months.
In the event that we remove a town/city from the list and map, we will explain our reasons for doing so.
Published information reflects Openreach’s FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme, which is based on the current announced four million premises Fibre First Programme, excluding FTTP deployment related to BDUK, new sites, and other small-scale infill. It will be agreed by the Fibre First Steering Group to ensure appropriate governance.
Openreach has exercised its best efforts to ensure that the published information accurately reflect its relevant FTTP build plans at the time of publication. Details at an exchange level are shown only where Openreach expects that it will build in the greater majority of the relevant exchange.
Openreach will keep this information updated on a quarterly rolling basis as appropriate, including to reflect any possible changes to existing plans which may become necessary due to unforeseen operational obstacles (particularly where build is yet to commence).
*Programme Build Complete refers to the exchanges where build has been largely completed as part of the FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme, but does not mean that services will be available from this date.
**Previously, our Transparency framework contained a 12 months forward looking view of locations and the total number of exchanges we were planning to build within these locations in the next 24 months, as agreed with DCMS back in 2018. We also published details of the specific exchanges where we were currently building FTTP, where it’s already been built, or where were intending to start building within the next three months. The increased experience on the ground has given us ever greater confidence in the ability, level and accuracy to plan longer term – which is why we are now in the position to publish details on our build plans right up to the target delivery date of four million premises by March 2021.
For more information on plans for Town, Cities and Boroughs up to March 2021please click here.