The project will significantly boost speeds for customers in 81 locations across the UK

Openreach has announced plans to extend its ultrafast network footprint by rolling out Gfast services to a million homes and businesses across the UK.

Openreach will provide speeds of up to 330Mbps to customers in 81 new locations across the UK, including London, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham.

“Currently, the UK is a world leader in digital infrastructure and services, but as the digital revolution rushes forwards and the demand for data continues to grow, we need to sure we stay ahead of the curve. That’s why we’re investing in faster, more reliable network infrastructure to facilitate all the activities we want to do now, and also those we haven’t even dreamt of doing in ten years’ time,” said Kim Mears, MD for Strategic Infrastructure Development at Openreach.  

In total, Openreach now offers ultrafast (100Mbps+) broadband services to 1.9 million people across the UK. The company plans to use Gfast technology to boost speeds on its existing copper networks for 5.7 million customers by the mid-2020s.

While Gfast technology boosts speeds over existing copper networks, Openreach says that the Gfast initiative will work in tandem with its full fibre network expansion programme, which it says is on course to deliver 3 million fibre to the home (FTTH) connections by the end of 2020.  

With the UK government saying that the country requires 15 million FTTH connections by 2025 to support the evolution of its digital economy, Openreach is facing stiff competition from companies such as CityFibre, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear to roll out full fibre services across the UK. Openreach says that under the right economic conditions, it aspires to provide 10 million FTTH connections by 2025.

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