Nottingham and Belfast joining first wave of Openreach Fibre First roll-out
Two areas have made it to the top of the Fibre First roll-out list for Openreach as Nottingham and Belfast are both announced with work underway to make FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) available to people in both locations.
Nottingham is to be the first location in the East Midlands to benefit from Fibre First and the area of Gedling is specifically mentioned with the roll-out of full fibre covering thousands of homes and businesses, exactly how many thousands is unclear but based on the size of the Gedling constituency every 1,000 FTTP premises will add around 2% to the current very small FTTP footprint.
This is fantastic news for Nottingham, and I’m thrilled that my constituency of Gedling is leading the way. The way we use the internet is changing all the time, more and more of our communities and businesses rely on an effective broadband connection. This announcement is great in terms of faster and more reliable broadband, but also for the new jobs and the long-term boost it will bring to the area.Gedling’s MP, Vernon Coaker
Belfast will be the first city in Northern Ireland, though other areas such as Lisburn, Bangor and Newtownards seem to have Fibre First builds already underway. The first areas set to benefit should be Crumlin, Falls, Shankill, Shore, Malone, Ormeau, Lisburn and the Upper Newtownards Road. We have seen FTTP overlay of several Lisburn cabinets but these fall under the Lisburn and Castlereagh local authority based on their location rather than part of Belfast City. The precise volume of the roll-out is unknown but the press release talks of tens of thousands of premises, so significant jump for Belfast.
We are delighted to support Belfast’s digital ambitions. The city is already a key player in the global digital economy, and we are getting on with building the digital infrastructure it needs to stay ahead. As we build our fibre network directly to people’s front doors, we remain committed to staying at the forefront of innovation and providing customers with the digital connectivity they need and deserve. Since starting our UK wide ‘Fibre First’ programme, our engineers have built full fibre broadband technology to more than 650,000 premises, reaching thousands of homes and businesses each week. We are on track to reach our target of connecting 25 per cent of homes and businesses in Northern Ireland to ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2019 — and we have the ambition, capability and experience to go well beyond.Mairead Meyer, managing director of the newly-named Openreach Northern Ireland team
We look forward to those in the area helping us spot the newly active areas as always through their improved speed tests once they have signed up to the service.
Our UK wide total for Openreach is currently at 620,789 and will increase slightly overnight, some of the recent additions were parts of cabinet 37 on the Bedminster exchange in Bristol (near Tavistock Road) as part of Fibre First. Our figure trails the coverage figure of 682,000 premises from the latest BT Group financials but part of this may be that Openreach has built coverage to this many premises and we are just waiting on the final go live, in additional to our usual lag. The reason for repeating coverage figures of a few days ago is what Mairead Meyer said about building FTTP to more than 650,000 premises since Fibre First was announced, at the start of 2017 well ahead of the Fibre First programme we knew of over 300,000 premises with an Openreach FTTP service option and at the start of 2018 it was around 450,000 premises, so the 650,000 comment looks wrong given Fibre First did not launch until 1st February 2018.