Openreach claims 80,000 premises passed for FTTP in Bristol
Bristol was one of the first locations where the Openreach Fibre First roll-outs started to deliver FTTP in volume, but one clarification we need to make is that the figures from the Openreach press release cover all the Openreach FTTP no matter what funding pot it was built via, e.g. Fibre First, gap funded or new built.
Openreach has today announced that more than 80,000 homes and businesses across Bristol – nearly 40 per cent of all premises - can now access some of the fastest, most reliable broadband in the UK. Engineering teams have been hard at work building the new network using the latest Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology - where fibre optic cables are laid all the way from the local telephone exchange to people’s front doors. Full fibre provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and capacity to easily meet the ever growing data demands of future technology. Bristol was announced in July 2018 as one of the first places to benefit from Openreach’s full fibre build. Since then, the new network has been built in Bedminster, Bishopsworth, North Bristol, West Bristol, Easton, Filton and Whitchurch. In the coming months, work will reach Fishponds and Redcliffe as engineers install the cables and infrastructure required to connect up those areas.Part of Openreach press release on Bristol
The headline talks of over 80,000 premises able to order FTTP and if you compare with the local authority that is City of Bristol our records show just 62,976 premises (30.23%) with access to Openreach FTTP. So clearly there is something wrong. The biggest problem is that Bristol is larger than the area defined as City of Bristol using local authority boundaries and if we look at all BS postcodes the figures improve to 70,710 premises passed but the percentage covered drops to 15.28%. Another way to look at Bristol is to count the area defined as the Primary Urban Area which covers some 333,446 premises and has Openreach FTTP coverage of 20.34%. Given that we are generally a 6-8 to weeks behind Openreach build figures and they will be counting built FTTP which has not being released to the wholesale market too the 70,710 premises passed (BS postcodes) figure from our data is not unreasonable.
Recent research shows that connecting everyone in Bristol and in the South West to ‘full fibre’ broadband would create a £4.3 billion boost to the region’s economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.
Our new network will also help to support Bristol’s Smart City Strategy and its pillar of achieving ‘world class connectivity’, as well as underpinning the council’s One City Vision of Connectivity – which includes the aim of removing the obstacles and barriers to people connecting.
As a Bristolian, I’m proud to see the progress we’re making in fibering up the city, with already close to half of all homes and businesses able to enjoy the benefits of our future-proofed next generation broadband network. But we’re not done yet and our engineers are busy extending the new network even further.James Tappenden, Director of Openreach’s Fibre First programme
The claimed 40% premises passed seems a reach too far , but the over 80,000 premises is in the right ball park. As the race to hold the crown of being a big player in the FTTP grows we are likely to have more of these statistics puzzles.
With the confusion over what is and is not part of Bristol we thought a good idea would be to share the postcode area figures as these will be the ones people can easily identify with. The concentration of FTTP into some areas very visible from the postcode area figures and we have added the overall FTTP for all broadband suppliers.
|Postcode Area||Premises||Openreach FTTP %||FTTP All Providers|
These figures were generated on the night of 26th November but it has been two weeks since we did our usual search for Openreach FTTP in Bristol. The number of exchanges which are in the First First programme means we cycle through them all in around 3 weeks.
The table shows that BS4 and BS3 areas are the place to be if full fibre is critical to your use of the Internet today, but so long as the builds continue other areas will reach those heady heights of availability. What is very clear though is that the overall full fibre picture is a long way from being just an Openreach game, other providers play a large part too.
If someone has the time to mix and match the postcode areas we suspect that you can arrive at an Openreach 40% premises passed figure, so for those bored of Black Friday there is a challenge, find out which areas combined together give around 40% Openreach coverage and a premises count in the 65,000 to 70,000 range.