Openreach claims 2 million premises passed as we break 1.8 million figure
The pace of the full fibre roll-outs across the UK is actually very close to the pace of the broadband superfast roll-outs between 2010 and 2015 now which when you consider the amount of extra working involved is starting to look impressive, though for all providers if their own and Government targets are to be met the pace will need to rise further.
This week we made full fibre broadband available to our two-millionth home, meaning we’re still on track to reach four million front doors by the end of March 2021.
At the same time, there are still more than 14 million homes and businesses in the UK that could order a better service over our network today, but who haven’t yet upgraded. That means they could be missing out on better connections that would allow them to work from home, stream entertainment, and manage their smart home devices without any interruptions. We’d encourage people to check our online fibre checker (www.openreach.co.uk/fibrecheckerpr) and discover what might be on offer in their area.Openreach spokesperson responding to Connected Nations report
We will of course respond to the Ofcom Connected Nations report in our next news item, 24 hours later than many places as we were busy walking through flood waters on Friday morning and then the daily tasks of finding more FTTP took over.
Openreach breaking the two million point is a big milestone and puts them halfway towards their goal of 4 million premises by the end of March 2021. Of course rather than using the Openreach checker we encourage people to use of our own package search which has daily updates (and on busy days sometimes more than one update) to push the latest postcodes where the majority can order FTTP onto it.
Our tracking is behind the Openreach figure and is showing 1,804,175 premises as of this morning and should climb a couple more thousand premises over the course of Saturday. One reason we lag almost 200,000 premises behind is that we only count those premises where the service is built and also live to order. An example based on what we've seen in Lingfield where one street was passing fibre light tests on 2nd December and would have counted in the Openreach built figure we believe, this did not appear as ready to order until 19th December so at the expected build rates this could account for 50,000 premises. The other issue is that the Openreach build is spread over a large number of locations and the cycle time to work through all of these is around 2 to 3 weeks accounting for another 50,000 to 75,000 premises. Add to this the reality that ONS only issues its postcode data set every three months so we can be missing another 20,000 premises of Openreach FTTP depending on where you are in the quarter and our lag is not so bad.
So will Openreach hit the 4 million on 31st March 2021, well our tracking is indicating November 2021 at present or August 2021 if you take into account the lag we have in our tracking.
The last 9 days has seen the amount of Openreach FTTP found each day increase, a small part of this is starting the quarters checking of what is available to new build premises, but the last 9 days build rate works out at a weekly pace of 26,092 which is a jump up from the pace of the previous four weeks of around 20,000 a week. With the Christmas wind down starting we will be slowing down a bit, a Christmas party and a trip to Budapest in the last week certainly did not slow us down.
The end of Q4 2019 is rapidly approaching and in January ahead of the financial statements from the big providers expected at the end of January we will report on what we are seeing in terms of take-up and speeds just like we did in October 2019.