Broadband News

29 more areas added to Openreach full fibre roll-out plans

The Fibre First programme ran by Openreach just got a bit bigger with the next batch of 29 localities, meaning the programme is going to be present in 103 locations by March 2021.

Aberdeen; Ayr; Aughton; Bradford; Billericay; Brentwood; Basingstoke; Brighton; Balham; Chorley Wood; Derby; Hatch End; Lichfield; Molesey; Northampton; Newbury; Norwich; Newcastle (N.I.); Ormskirk; Portrush, Portstewart, Rickmansworth; Royal Tunbridge Wells; Stanecastle; Swindon; Thames Ditton; Tonbridge; Watford; and Wickford

Next set of areas where Fibre First work is set to start in next 18 months

The officially reported build rate is running at 22,000 premises but will have to continue to rise if the goal of 4 million premises by March 2021 is to be met. We should also point out that the four million premises total is not just from the 103 Fibre First areas announced to date, there is the various gap funding schemes, new build premises and some exchanges where FTTP has been rolled out but for some reason not under the Fibre First umbrella.

Full-fibre broadband provides a reliable, future-proof, consistent and dependable service that will be a platform for economic growth and prosperity throughout the UK for decades to come.

We’re now building at a massive scale. Every 28 seconds we pass a home or business with our new future-proofed full fibre network. This has given us ever greater confidence in the level and accuracy of whatever we announce – which is why we’ve now laid out our build plans right up to the target delivery date of four million premises by March 2021.

We also want to ensure we give our stakeholders – like council leaders, planners and MPs – the best view of where and when we intend to build so we can work together to build as rapidly as possible and help encourage people to take up the technology when it arrives.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach

The exact exchanges will appear on the maps and PDF file at the Openreach Fibre First micro-site in due course. One of the changes for this latest batch is that rather than covering a 12 month period, the forward looking has been extended to 18 months.

The current declared FTTP footprint from Openreach is 1.8 million premises which is a big jump from the figure mentioned at a WLR switch off event two weeks ago of 1.68 million premises, but there may be some rounding involved and we have just passed the end of Q3 there may have been a rush of work to meet internal and external deadlines. The pace needed to hit 4 million premises in the time left is 30,000 premises every week without fail.

When we do our next round-up of what we have found in terms of Openreach FTTP on 12th October we will also add the levels of Openreach FTTP coverage on Fibre First exchanges in addition to the usual overall figure. Our work to track down what broadband options is available to new builds is ongoing but one observation we can share is that some relatively new estates (e.g. some built in 2015/2016/2017) now appear to be getting Openreach FTTP delivered to them and public feedback suggests this is not under the Community Fibre scheme and probably not BDUK related either.

Comments

Micro-site has been updated already.
Shows my area of Northampton starting in next 3 months, so we now have Cityfibre & BT tripping over each other to provide FTTP/H services, cant complain I guess, Ive abandoned my 4Mb adsl for Three mobile unlimited sim so a choice of FTTP providers after 8 years of waiting is a relief.

  • rolandrat
  • 18 days ago

I'm on the Burnham exchange near Slough. Fibre Checker started indicating FTTP is coming a few months back, even though G.Fast just became available.
The announced list just covers Slough, and the yellow availability area did not extend into Burnham. The spreadsheet has now been updated - Slough still only shows "3 Exchanges", I assume "Slough Main", "Slough Trading Estate" and "Slough Langley". HOWEVER, the yellow coverage area has now been extended to cover the Burnham Exchange area, which now matches the Fibre Checker result. It's just the Exchange itself is still not listed anywhere. Weird

  • Quark999
  • 18 days ago

Curiously absolutely nothing will be happening in London anymore according to these predictions. Some areas in the suburban parts of Greater London were done as well as something in Westminster - but most of the notorious EO areas will still be waiting and none of them are in the plans either. Considering the size of London and the number of properties there, one would assume some work would be planned there.

  • hvis42
  • 18 days ago

Interestingly the only Exchange that moved from "Currently Building in" to "Build Complete" was Twickenham, which isn't that impressive for 3 months. But also almost all "Exchanges to Start Build" have moved to "Currently Building In" over the last three months. The only two NOT to have are Intake and Slough, which means they are now late. And Gants Hill is both in "To Start" and "Currently Building In", which is obviously an error :)

  • Quark999
  • 18 days ago

Build Complete is an odd one, as some that shifted to build complete at the end of July we are still finding new bits appearing, some of this is lag in us figuring out which bits are available to order, but also believe there is a difference between Openreach saying complete for a build in a street and it appearing as live and ready for service to the public.

On London, Merton Park is seeing growth and so is Iford. The central London EO issues are not helped by issues around roadworks and bayleaves in the City of London areas.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 18 days ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
Openreach is drip feeding the Post Codes on the provision of fibre as they overlay the FTTC feeding where applicable thus checking the post codes in the Area weekly as they are upgraded on the BT Checker addresses.

  • Blackmamba
  • 18 days ago

Openreach actually say as much themselves in the PDF:
"Programme Build Complete refers to the exchanges where build has largely been completed as part of the FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme, but does not mean that services will be available from this date."

  • Quark999
  • 18 days ago

Still very surprised that Openreach have not made Leicester one of these locations as its a large city and there are no other FTTP providers in the area and the Virgin network is very over subscribed.

  • Flagrag28
  • 18 days ago

@thinkbroadband “bayleaves in the City of London areas.” Are they making a lovely stew?

  • @diggory
  • comment via twitter
  • 18 days ago

Just checking you are reading the comments, or more likely my autocorrect kicked in and did not notice it had morphed wayleaves into bayleaves (it actually did it just then so you almost had two bayleaves)

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 18 days ago

So how many of these places have other providers offering FTTP? It seems BT only installed FTTP when it sees others doing so as it knows it will lose business as people go from their hybrid FTTC system.
That is why it will be years before we have FTTP here in Hereford, not that I am bothered, I prefer the choice of choosing my provider, that FTTC gives, just a shame it can't be more reliable.,

  • zyborg47
  • 17 days ago

Interestingly, the fibre-first map gained yellow patches for Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge on the day of the announcement, but these have now disappeared. Northampton has gone too.

In fact, of the areas listed in this announcement, only Derby and Lichfield are now on the drop-down menu. I guess that means it's more than 3 months until build is scheduled to start in the other areas.

  • candlerb
  • 17 days ago

@candlerb - yes I noticed that today also.
@zyborg47 - You may well be correct, is it a coincidence that Northampton gets on the BT FF list just as Cityfibre start their rollout. I understand business competition and all that, but FTTP/H is just that, we dont need two people doing it, you dont see the power or gas companies laying new cables/pipes to provide an alternative service. In vast areas of Northampton there is going to be Virgin, BT FTTP and Cityfibre seems a bit of a waste of time and money.
Dont get me wrong, ill take both BT FTTP and Cityfibre for redundancy.

  • rolandrat
  • 17 days ago

0.23% of UK premises have Openreach FTTP and another providers FTTP (includes RFOG)

In new build areas it is significantly higher, but saving that update for later in October

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 17 days ago

Fascinating - you guys are right, the little yellow areas next to Slough proper (Burnham and Langley) that had expired yesterday morning on the map have disappeared again - we're back to where it was before the update. The fibre checker still says FTTP is "coming soon" to my Burnham address, so it looks like someone was overzealous in updating the map (!) and someone noticed and wound it back (!!). Not surprised considering Slough itself didn't move into "in build" for the last three months, so I guess they need to start there first. Which, coincidentally, is a core Cityfibre area too!

  • Quark999
  • 17 days ago

There is something about Leics which I think makes BT consider it not very viable. We only got VDSL after Hewitt intervened (was MP and on BT's board). My thinking is tho they are quite possibly using the same install team for all of east midlands and as such can only do one city at a time, so maybe given all the other cities in the area have been announced except Leics as the odd one out Leics will be in the next announcement and done after Derby.

  • chrysalis
  • 17 days ago

fibre-first site has also gained a non-GDPR-compliant cookie banner.

"If you're happy with the use of cookies by Openreach and selected partners, click OK." But it offers no way to decline cookies, or remove the banner without clicking OK. You can't even read the privacy policy properly because the banner is still in the way!

  • candlerb
  • 16 days ago

It's telling where areas announced in February 2018, now marked as "Programme Build Complete" there is still no deliverable FTTP service even in those areas not covered by Openreach FTTC.

  • M100
  • 16 days ago

And will these areas see complete overhaul of the FTTC network being changed over to FTTP? I'm on a cabinet approx 1.6km away. I get 54Mbps, will they change me over to FTTP? Or is it only planned new builds that will see the rollout?

Ayr, cabinet 26

  • Spitfire400
  • 12 days ago

There's a surprise, No Welsh towns involved!

  • BIGCLIFF
  • 12 days ago

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