With just months until the completion date of Spring 2014 for the Openreach commercial roll-out of FTTC and FTTP products, Openreach has announced the last 19 new exchange areas that will see its FTTC products delivered.
ANFIELD, ASHFIELD, BEACON, BRADFORD, CANARY WHARF, FARNWORTH, GOSCOTE, HALESOWEN, HOLMEWOOD, LEEDS, NETHERLEY, NEWCASTLE EAST, NORTH SHIELDS, OLD WHITTINGTON, ORRELL, RIPPONDEN, RUBERY, STONE CROSS, WAKEFIELDLast 19 exchanges under £2.5 billion commercial roll-out by Openreach
There is no precise information on which cabinets will be enabled on these exchanges, but the 19 areas represent some 195,000 premises. There is also an extra 250,000 premises that will benefit from infill work in 293 exchange areas, which means cabinets missed out on the initial roll-out will be enabled via the commercial roll-out.
In terms of the overall numbers once Openreach finishes the commercial roll-out it will have some 19 million premises within its fibre (FTTC/P) footprint spread over some 1725 exchanges. So for the number followers the UK has some 26.4 million households and around 4.8 million businesses, though some businesses will be home based, so lets say 30 million premises.
So the key now is whether this rate of roll-out will translate to the joint projects with the councils, or will the complications of heading into the more rural areas and slow the process down.
The biggest area now will be for Openreach to drive take-up of the services, and with Sky and TalkTalk more heavily promoting the availability of fibre this is likely to start happening. Also increased take-up will also help to show if FTTC was a bad technology choice, or whether for the vast majority it will provide a speed of service sufficient for the next five to ten years.