Deal reached so Openreach can upgrade chunks of Mayfair and Belgravia
If you live or work in a property owned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland then today brings good news since as a five year digital investment project a co-investment deal has been signed with Openreach to bring superfast and ultrafast broadband to some to property portfolio in the London West End including Belgravia and Mayfair.
The roll-out will see areas that have missed out on the commercial roll-outs and will be using a mixture of FTTP and FTTC, with some 130 residential and business sites covering 600 premises set to get full fibre with options of between 40 Mbps and 1000 Mbps. More properties are set to benefit from FTTC and while no precise figure is mentioned the words 'hundreds more properties' are used, suggesting multiple cabinets.
We have a 20 year vision that our London estate, at the heart of the West End, works harder for its communities and all Londoners by adapting - with better streets, greener spaces and more active and enterprising places that appeal to the many.
This digital upgrade, the first of its kind in a landmark deal, confirms our commitment to the long-term vision we have for this great London estate. It epitomises our call for the partnerships and collaboration we need to secure the future of these districts at the heart of a thriving, global city.Will Bax, Executive Director for the London estate, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
600 more full fibre premises is a drop in the ocean, but if other landlords take note and reach agreements we could see a lot more the core of London upgraded, getting landlords on board is critical to getting inner city areas into the 21st century for broadband. Of course for big business in London full fibre business grade connectivity (leased lines) has been available for some time and with plenty of competition but the Openreach full fibre options are significantly cheaper and more suited to the small business in terms of cost.
Other parts of central London appear to be also down for full fibre (FTTP) roll-outs but it is not uniform and no firm timescales are set, and that may be part of the reason for the co-investment deal, i.e. it was obvious that better connectivity would arrive eventually but better to get ahead of the pack and be able to brag of decent broadband in sales literature.
The London full fibre scene may only be at the point where 1 in 20 have a native full fibre option, but with superfast coverage at 96.3% things look a lot better. Interestingly Openreach FTTP is only running at 1.91% of premises, with other FTTP operators adding another 3.1% so the race to catch-up is on for Openreach.
High superfast coverage figures will seem impossible for those in London who don't have a superfast option, but if we said there was 132,000 with an option of under 10 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps upload speeds the size of the task in London becomes more apparent.