Broadband News

Openreach announces next set of areas to get Gfast

The Gfast roll-out in the UK is part of the Openreach strategy to have rolled out ultrafast broadband to some 13 million premises by the end of 2020. The names of the next 59 locations to see the cabinet based roll out are now known, but as always remember that the roll-out is not to every cabinet in a location mentioned, so keep an eye on the availability of services, and our availability checker and package filters are we believe the only ones outside of the providers themselves that show availability.

Aberdeen Denburn, Acocks Green, Altrincham, Aylesbury, Bedford, Birmingham Central, Bishops Stortford, Boscombe, Bowes Park, Bury St. Edmunds, Bury, Byfleet, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Cosham, Didsbury, Erdington, Gipsy Hill, Guildford, Hampton, Harlow, Harrogate, Headingley, Heywood, Kingston, Lancaster, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Llantrisant, Maidstone, Market Harborough, Mile End, Morley, Narborough, North Finchley, Paignton, Plymouth, Rugby, Shipley, Slough, South Kensington, Southampton, Southend Town, St Albans, Stockton Heath, Swadlincote, Tamworth, Taunton, Telford Wellington, Tunbridge Wells, Walthamstow, Weston Super Mare, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Woodhouse (Berkshire), Woodley, York

59 locations where will be rolled out to

The roll-out has had a muted response so far with only BT Consumer and TalkTalk of the largest providers selling the service, but for those who are already finding VDSL2 is not fast enough it is an option. Our tracking of the roll-out suggests that a great deal of the footprint so far is overlapping with Virgin Media and its ultrafast services and while the numbers of speed tests is still very small what we have seen suggests a better stability in terms of latency, so gamers will be able to get the latest patches quickly and should not suffer from rubber banding in games.

Britons are using their home broadband connections more than ever - consuming more than double the amount of data than they did just three years ago. A mass of new apps and services which demand higher quality broadband connections are becoming parts of our daily lives in our homes and at work – like virtual and augmented reality and more sophisticated online gaming, education and healthcare. That’s why we’re making this huge investment in upgrading the network, to make sure we stay a step ahead of that demand.

Kim Mears, MD for Strategic Infrastructure Development

Gfast if it arrives on your existing cabinet has a much shorter reach than VDSL2, with service only available to those within around 300m to 400m of the cabinet. In the dense urban areas where the majority of the pods are appearing this is not too much of a problem, but if does become available to you it means that you will not be seeing Openreach roll-out their FTTP service to you (we expect this to change, but probably in the 2025 to 2033 period). Of course this does not stop Openreach from rolling out FTTP to other areas e.g. exchange only lines and new builds in towns and exchange areas.

The press release talks about the 46 locations where Gfast is currently available, and while our tracking is lagging at 292,000 premises compared to the figure of just under a million declared in the last financial results (we have concentrated on the superfast roll-outs, but speed tests are appearing more often so picking up more new areas now) we know of 70 exchanges where at least one Gfast pod is active. The difference between the 46 and 70 is down to larger towns and cities having multiple telephone exchanges.

Map of where Gfast is available
Map showing postcodes covered by Gfast pods

The roll-out often gets criticised for bringing faster speeds to those who already have fast speeds, but the reality is that the majority of the Project Lightning roll-out is doing the same and so will the 1 million premises of Vodafone FTTP but we rarely see that complaint made about FTTP. The difference is most likely that people see FTTP delivery as meaning that nothing else needs to change for many decades, whereas Gfast is expected to have a lifespan of around a decade.


While where I live isn't listed, it could mean FTTP later on. I'm hoping it's more likely to be FTTP, especially as about two streets away there's an area which is FTTP already as well as one or two other parts in the town. Besides of which I think I'm just outside of getting based on cabinet distance so I'd be happier if it meant FTTP later on instead :).

  • Ixel
  • over 2 years ago

So let me get this straight. It only helps those who already have at least 50Mb/s and overlaps with VM. Tell me again - why are they still bothering with this technology? Seems to me like it's a waste of money. I always thought it was best used as cheaper in-fill to cover areas VDSL couldn't reach. But if G.FAST doesn't work for that then just pack it in. Spend the money on extending the FTTP roll-out instead.

  • AndrueC
  • over 2 years ago

G.Fast is just another way for BT to delay full FTTP roll-out. It shows they are doing something when in fact they are spending very little money rolling it out. I believe in the industry it is called "sweating assets".

  • doowles
  • over 2 years ago


In which case, you thought wrong, at least insofar as the pod-based depoloyment is concerned. As to why pod-based G.FAST is being deployed then (a) it's very cheap as it piggy-backs on existing cabinets (b) it's much faster to deploy than fibre deployements (c) it provides a product to compete with VM (d) it should release FTTC nodes avoiding spending capital in cabinet enhancements.

Bear in mind, this is a commercial deployment. It isn't there for not-spots fill-in. The fibre-to-the-node pilots, at least to date, really haven't cost in. Just possibly, with reverse power, it might.

  • TheEulerID
  • over 2 years ago

Am surprised Telford Donnington isn’t in the list as there plenty of G.Fast pods popping up in that area.
Telford Oakengates brief showed some G.Fast on the Openreach DSL Becker it then they disappeared.
I remain in hope.

  • loaderladdy
  • over 2 years ago

I've never seen Warrington on any official list, but it's available in some cabs.
I get the point of it only seeming to benefit those closer to the cab (who can probably get decent speeds anyway), but is it, perhaps a way to free up FTTC space so that as people move from FTTC to GFast, their FTTC "allocation" can be taken by someone else, or have I misunderstood that?

  • newmattie
  • over 2 years ago

Plenty of pods all over Welington Telford but the dsl checker for as planning has disappears for all Wellington customers.

Don't trust Openreach press release news until it went LIVE!

  • adslmax
  • over 2 years ago

EO's get FTTP.

Suburbs get G.Fast.

What about the rural peasants? At the moment it looks like 5G will be the only realistic option for the near future.

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • over 2 years ago

Rural areas as a percentage have more FTTP than urban areas and more on the way

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

@TheEulerID: G.Fast is being deployed in the wrong areas where there is hardly any market demand for it. History is strewn with once-successful companies that failed because they wouldn't keep up with the market and newer innovative technologies. Think Kodak, Polaroid, Palm and Blockbuster and others, BT could be next tech dinosaur.

  • JNeuhoff
  • over 2 years ago

I thought I spotted G.Fast pods while visiting my inlaws in Weston Super Mare this weekend!

I wonder when they will go live.

  • rtho782
  • over 2 years ago

Is this rural has more FTTP due to some areas have a large amount? Your own figures say 3.81% for the whole UK, but the mainly rural county I'm in has 0.85%

  • brianhe
  • over 2 years ago

Urban GB 3.4% FTTP
Rural GB 5.6% FTTP

So yes varies from county to county.

If one accepts ultrafast as being worthwhile irrespective of the secret sauce of FTTP then

Urban GB 65.6%
Rural GB 13.1%

Rural comprises 21% of GB premises.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

DrMike: "EO's get FTTP."

Not always. Sometimes EO lines get connected to new all-in-one cabinets for FTTC.

  • baby_frogmella
  • over 2 years ago

How loverly for these places even more power, I GET 5.48 MB 5.48, WHY DO THEY NOT USE ALL THEIR FAST FUNDS TO BRING FASTER BROADBAND TO RURAL AREAS reason we are not financial viable with only 400 homes to bring infinity, BT take my money £52 a month with rubbish speeds

  • roywebber
  • over 2 years ago

It would be nice for Openreach to spend the money getting the people who are stuck with connections of 5mb or less, are stuck on EO lines and have no cabinets to upgrade and they currently have no plans for in Southwark London along with other areas.

  • Malcolmb1
  • over 2 years ago

I live in Weston-super-Mare and have been watching the BTW tracker closely after noticing pods pop up all over town. My PCP was listed as planned, showing est. speeds, handback etc. Recently, the lines disappeared from the BTW checker completely, coinciding when two of my local cabs went live. Mine however, still has not gone live. What’s the timescales here?

  • rickdg
  • over 2 years ago

They need to stop quoting the 300-400 metre figure. My PCP is G.Fast enabled, and only properties within 100 metres can get it, and even then, there are anomalies with some close properties not getting it.

  • AndyPandy
  • over 2 years ago

FTTC, FTTP are only dreams for us. Give me ADSL2 with a guaranteed 2mb and I'll be happy. I have a profile of 0.75mb with normal connections around 0.5mb. OpenReach complain of low take up with fiber. In reality most people don't even need 10mb which they can receive on ADSL2, so why switch? With a lot of rural places like myself, we'd jump at switching to fiber. There is no chance now that OpenReach will ever improve the existing ADSL for us.

  • biglwcus
  • over 2 years ago

  • michael_a_gree
  • over 2 years ago

Hi, the Farmer up our lane has "fibre cable above" posted on each post leading up to his farm, & he now has a big black box about 8" tall x 5" wide, placed about 10' high up the post next to his House, & the old copper cables still run alongside the new fibre cable on the posts, yet he does not appear to have received any notice that he should be getting high speed & has not noticed any improvement. Is it possible he is not connected fully?

  • michael_a_gree
  • over 2 years ago

My exchange is on this new GFast list, I currently get about 38mb download speed, am I likely to see any improvement in my speeds if my cabinet is enabled for GFast?

  • arnie70
  • over 2 years ago

As someone living in Sheffield on an estate NOT covered by G.FAST and also out of range of Virgin, this is depressing.

I mean sure I'm lucky as I can still get 76Mbit VDSL, but it seems mental that I would totally go for this product (as I used to get 80 and crosstalk is starting to drag me down) but BT as rolling it out in such a crappy manner. Especially as I'm stuck on an ECI cabinet.

  • alexatkinuk
  • over 2 years ago

It is disappointing. All the cabs around me in Tunbridge Wells have had pods installed for months. My particular cab is is not one of the newer ones where a pod can be installed. Besides that I am a long way from the cab and there is copious amounts of ali cable and can't even get the superfast speed.
Even in towns you can still get "not spots" for fast connection. Some folks are lucky enough to sit right on their cab and could get the "full 80" and now they can get the full 330.

  • pavlaki62
  • over 2 years ago

And - yet again... nothing north of Edinburgh

  • kimitheworm
  • over 2 years ago

Pods added to the cabs round here, nothing on the checkers.....

(EMMONT cab 43)

  • philce
  • about 1 year ago

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