From Belgravia in London to Alloway in Scotland there will be people excited to hear that their telephone exchange falls into the commercial footprint for the Openreach FTTC and FTTP upgrades. A total of 99 exchange areas have been announced covering some 600,000 premises, but the usual caveat that even though an exchange is announced which individual cabinets will be enabled will not be known until a later date. An additional 600,000 premises will benefit from additional cabinets at previously announced exchanges.
The full list of 99 exchanges has been published on our forums. This batch was expected to be the last large announcement as part of the £2.5 billion fibre investment programme, but Openreach is saying there may still be further exchange announcements and the possibility of infill (enabling a cabinet bypassed previously) at older exchanges.
In terms of what is available now, with 13 million homes passed by the largely FTTC network half of UK premises have access and with todays announcement this will rise on completion of this list and other commercial work to around 19 million premises (around 1,700 exchanges) which meets the original magical figure of two thirds of the UK.
As the local authority projects start to deliver additional cabinets and exchanges will be announced via those programmes, and while their funding may be different the services will be identical, which is one of the key factors as to why BT is winning the contracts, as in the uniformity of provider choice should help to ensure good take-up levels over the next couple of years.