The launch of its Fibre First campaign will see Openreach commit to providing an additional 1 million FTTP connections by 2020 than it had previously promised
Openreach has promised to significantly boost the UK’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) footprint, as the company launches its Fibre First campaign. The first phase of this programme will see Openreach increase its current commitment to FTTP services by 50% – promising to reach 3 million homes and businesses by 2020.
Openreach says that it will commence work on this initiative soon in 8 cities around the UK, with Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester all set to benefit.
In a statement to the press, Openreach’s CEO, Clive Selley, said that providing 3 million FTTP connections by 2020 was just the beginning. Openreach hopes to establish a ten million strong FTTP footprint in the UK by the mid 2020’s. Selley said that "if the conditions were right, [we hope] to go significantly beyond this, bringing the benefits of FTTP to the majority of homes and businesses across the UK."
Britain’s business community will greet the news with relief, as the UK currently lags behind its European neighbours in FTTP deployment. Orange, for example, has a network of 25 million FTTP homes and businesses across France and Spain. The move from Openreach marks a departure from its previous strategy of building on Britain’s existing copper infrastructure.
"I’m glad Openreach have begun to make this shift in strategy, away from copper to modern full fibre technology. We will work with all full fibre broadband providers to build a Britain fit for the future," the UK’s secretary of State for Digital, Matt Hancock, said today on Twitter.
While Openreach is keen to extoll the virtues of its Fibre First initiative, it has warned that the transformation of Britain’s telecommunications networks cannot be done overnight.
"Connecting every individual property to a full fibre connection is a massive task and takes significant time, engineering and manpower. The job of "fibering" the UK will take decades," said Selley.
How best to boost Britain’s FTTP connectivity will be a key theme at this year’s Connected Britain Event. Held from the 19-20 June, Connected Britain will bring together the key stake holders from the UK’s broadband sector. Click here for a full agenda and to find out how you can be a part of the show.