Broadband News

Openreach announces another 250,000 rural premises that will get full fibre

More full fibre is always good and with Openreach racing towards its four million premises passed footprint deadline of March 2021 the news today that 250,000 of these premises will be in various rural areas of the UK is welcome.

The 227 areas are on top of the 13 areas announced in Autumn 2019 and in those areas the builds are well under way and for the 227 areas in the long list today the build work is due to start in the next 14 months.

Our full fibre build programme is going great guns - having passed over 2 million premises already on the way to our 4m target by March 2021. We’re now building at around 26,000 premises a week in over 100 locations – reaching a new home or business every 23 seconds That’s up from 13,000 premises a week this time last year.

Openreach has always been committed to doing our bit in rural Britain - delivering network upgrades in communities that are harder to reach and less densely populated. We intend to build a significant portion of our full-fibre network in these harder to reach areas of the UK and are announcing 227 locations today.

Our ambition is to reach 15 million premises by mid-2020s if right investment conditions are in place. Currently, the biggest missing piece of this puzzle is getting an exemption from business rates on building fibre cables which is critical for any fibre builder’s long-term investment case.

Openreach CEO, Clive Selley

This list is distinct from the other Fibre Cities list, though of course the FTTP products are identical and we will moving forward create a Fibre Villages list to track the progress of these 227 in our monthly reports on what we have found Openreach deploying.

Exchange Locations being built to

Figures in brackets are current Openreach FTTP coverage levels as % of premises in exchange area. Many of the new areas will have some coverage by virtue of the BDUK work and/or new build.

NOTE: Some villages may have new build fibre only present but as linked to the handover exchange will not count in the coverage figures for the exchange boundary they are physically located in.

Figures based on coverage as of 27th January 2020, our Openreach FTTP footprint totalled 1,931,000 premises on that date. Total FTTP coverage once you count all full fibre operators may be higher.

Aberdare (1.5%) Aberdare, Cwmbach, Abernant, Llwydcoed
Alton (9.3%) Alton, Holybourne, Chawton, Shaldon
Anstruther (3.3%) Anstruther, Cellardyke, Pittenweem
Attleborough (11.6%) Attleborough, Besthorpe, Great Ellingham
Beaminster (0%) Beaminster
Betchworth (6.4%) Brockham, Betchworth, Box Hill
Bidford On Avon (11.8%) Bidford on Avon
Billingshurst (8.7%) Billinghurst
Bordon (8.3%) Bordon, Kingsley
Borough Green (3.7%) Borough Green, Wrotham, Ightham, Platt
Brinscall (25.6%) Brinscall, Abbey Village, Wheelton, Withnell
Brixham (0%) Brixham, Higher Brixham, Copythorne, Furzeham
Buckfastleigh (0.8%) Buckfastleigh
Budleigh Salterton (0%) Budleigh Salterton, Knowle
Bungay (0%) Bungay, Earsham, Ditchingham
Burnham On Crouch (0.1%) Burnham on Crouch
Burry Port (0%) Burry Port, Pembrey
Burscough (9.5%) Burscough
Caergwrle (12.8%) Caerwrie,  Cefn-Y-Bedd, Hope
Camelford (6.9%) Camelford
Carmarthen (9.5%) Camarthen, Abergwili, Bronwydd, Cwmffrwd, Idole, Croesyceiliog
Cheddar (0.2%) Cheddar, Draycott Park
Chester South (55.4%) Chester South
Chudleigh (0%) Chudleigh
Clitheroe (0.01%) West Bradgord, Waddington, Clitheroe, Pendleton
Colaton Raleigh (0%) Colaton Raleigh, Newton Poppleford
Coleshill (1.5%) Coleshill
Congleton (5.5%) Congleton
Cowes (0.7%) Cowes, East Cowes, Osborne, Northwood
Crook (0.1%) Crook, Howden-Le-Wear
Cross Hands (0%) Cross Hands, Penygroes, Tumbe, Cefneithin, Carmel, Llannon, Drefach, Capel Hendre, Cwmgwili
Croston (1.1%) Croston
Culcheth (1.9%) Cultcheth, Croft
Deal (0.5%) Deal, Kingsdown, Ripple, Ringwould
Denbigh (4.2%) Denbigh, Henllan
Dereham (1.6%) Dereham, Toftwood
Downham Market (0%) Downham Market
East Grinstead (1.4%) East Grinstead, Felbridge, Saint Hill Green
Eccleston (6.3%) Eccleston
Ely (2.9%) Ely
Faversham (1.9%) Faversham, Sheldwich, Painters Forstal, Davington
Findhorn (0%) Findhorn, Kinloss
Fleetwood (0.9%) Fleetwood
Flint (6.3%) Flint
Forest Row (0%) Forest Row
Frodsham (0%) Frodsham, Overton, Netherton
Garstang (9.7%) Garstang, Calder Vale
Gillingham (2.8%) Gillingham
Glinton (0%) Glinton, Helpston
Great Eccleston (4.4%) Great Eccleston, Elswick
Hailsham (4.8%) Hailsam, Horsebridge, Lower Dicker, Upper Dicker
Hambleton (35.3%) Hambleton
Hawkhurst (0%) Hawkhurst
Henley In Arden (3.9%) Henley In Arden, Wootton Wawen
Holywell (11.3%) Holywell, Carmel, Brynford, Gorsedd
Hornsea (1.6%) Hornsea, Atwick
Kelso (2.9%) Kelso, Maxwellheugh, Sprouston
Kirkburton (1.7%) Kirkburton
Knott End (0%) Knott End-On-Sea, Preesall
Lapworth (8.9%) Lapworth, Hockley Heath
Latchingdon (14.4%) Latchingdon, Althorne
Liskeard (45.7%) Liskeard, St Keyne, St Cleer, Menheniot
Longridge (5.2%) Longridge
Lymm (0%) Lymm, Booths Hill, Heatley, Oughtrington, Reddish
Melbourne (3.9%) Melbourne, Breedon on the Hill
Merthyr Tydfil (4.4%) Merthyr Tydfil, Cefn-Coed-Cymer, Pontsticill
Middlewich (1.4%) Middlewich
Minster Sheppey (1.4%) Minster
Mostyn (20.3%) Mostyn, Berthengam, Ffynongroyw, Pen-y-fford
Nazeing (0%) Nazeing, Bumble's Green
Neston (1.3%) Neston
North Weald (0%) North Weald, Colliers Hatch, Cutlers Green
Olney (0%) Olney, Weston Underwood, Lavendon, Emberton, Clifton Reynes
Penn (0.8%) Penn
Pontardulais (0%) Pontardulais, Llanedi, Yr Hendy
Prestatyn (1.1%) Prestatyn, Gronant
Rufford (17.5%) Rufford, Mawdesley
Sandiway (7.8%) Sandiway, Cuddington, Delamere Park
Sandwich (1.5%) Sandwich, Eastry, Worth
Saxmundham (9.3%) Saxmundham
Sevenoaks (1.1%) Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks Weald
Shaftesbury (1.6%) Shaftesbury, Motcombe
Sheering (0%) Sheering
Sheerness (0.3%) Sheerness, Queenborough
Shefford (10.9%) Shefford, Clifton, Henlow
Southminster (2.8%) Southminster, Steeple, Asheldham
Stone (4.3%) Stone, Little Stoke, Walton
Stonehouse (5%) Stonehouse
Stratton On The Fosse (0.6%) Stratton on the Fosse
Tadcaster (16.8%) Tadcaster
Tarvin (1.5%) Tarvin
Tavistock (0.8%) Tavistock, Lamerton
Tenterden (5.8%) Tenterden, St Michael's
Tiverton (1.5%) Tiverton
Verwood (0.03%) Verwood
Wateringbury (0%) Wateringbury
Watton (0%) Watton
Wentworth (10%) Wentworth, Virginia Water, Trumpsgreen
West Kingsdown (0%) West Kingsdown, Knockmill
Winsford (24.2%) Winsford
Winterton (1%) Winterton, Winteringham
Withernsea (0%) Withernsea
Wrington (0%) Wrington
Wymondham (2.9%) Wymondham
Original 13 trial areas
Cranfield Cranfield (41.1%)
Flockton Flockton (69.2%)
Hesketh Bank  Hesketh Bank (55.2%)
Kentford  Kentford (61.4%)
Lingfield Lingfield (20.5%) 
Lundin Links Lundin Links (29.9%)
Mickle Trafford Mickle Trafford (46.1%)
Okehampton Okehampton (38.3%)
Ottery St Mary  Ottery St Mary (7.7%)
Parbold  Parbold (69.2%)
Seal  Seal (58.4%)
Tarporley  Tarporley (65.6%)
West Calder  West Calder (34.7%)

The Openreach press release of course has more to add, a lot of coverage is going to talk about the various new techniques such as the diamond cutter, but we covered those last year and the majority of the roll-out is going to utilise existing ducts and poles. 

One key point to make is that while the roll-out is aiming for 250,000 premises across all these exchanges there is no guarantee that all premises on any individual exchange will be covered. Given that this roll-out is under a commercial umbrella it is likely that where costs vast exceed the average that a remote property may be missed. There is also the additional problems of wayleaves, which while usually a worry for those living in flats, this problem can also cover private or unadopted roads.


It's progress. Shame that ego and politics meant this "stuff" was so delayed from progressing 18 months ago. I get despairing of the quality of governance which needlessly hampers deployment of key infrastructure. Hey ho.

  • Webbas
  • about 1 year ago

“Build work for these 227 areas is likely to start in the next 14 months”
It’s been ongoing for a while in the area I live in, Henley-in-Arden, for months. No news on the completion date though.

Seems strange that the announcement has come long after we knew locally that fibre was being installed.

  • mrat42
  • about 1 year ago

Some of these areas stretch the definition of Rural. ( eg Merthyr not rural however Cefn-Coed-Cymer, Pontsticill very rural!)

  • jumpmum
  • about 1 year ago

Sad to see that they haven't decided to infill some exchanges that are currently sandwiched between 2 FTTP enabled exchanges.

I'm attached to the Kelvedon exchange, which is between Witham (FTTP enabled partially) and Coggeshall (FTTP enabled) and contains a sizeable amount of homes across the 3, which would really benefit from FTTP as the old copper network is currently breaking left, right and centre.

  • Bryer
  • about 1 year ago

Apart from wondering how the F my village of 100 ish (last census I say was something like 110) got fttp, I do realise its probably as they can then get fibre to farms and then roll it right up to the border, and cause we have a school.. and the main town is doing well so spoke and wheel roll out.

I am wondering how many of these "exchanges are just "we can replace all of this side of town with one cabinet now, lets designate it an exchange to boost the number in our press statement"

  • Hewitt96
  • about 1 year ago

> Some of these areas stretch the definition of Rural

For a town as large as Sevenoaks, I would have thought they'd announce it as part of Fibre First (although Sevenoaks Weald is rural)

  • candlerb
  • about 1 year ago


Witham 5.1% FTTP
Coggeshal 1.9% FTTP
Kelvedon 0% FTTP

While Witham and Coggeshal have some FTTP just because the exchange is FTTP enabled does not mean everyone can get it. The figures show that availability is very limited, obviously 0% is a lot worse.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

This announcement is not about creating more exchanges, in fact the FTTP roll-outs will lead to the 5000+ exchanges shrinking to around 1200 eventually.

On boosting the numbers in the press statement, notice how we (thinkbroadband) added the current Openreach FTTP levels to the table so that in six months time people can look back and see what progress has or has not been made.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

It's a great start, I think we will be surprised at how quickly coverage expands over the next 18+ months now the ball is starting to roll and pick up speed!

  • SlimJ
  • about 1 year ago


Thanks for the figures, the copper network is the original from the 1950's when parts of Feering and Kelvedon underwent massive development.

We've just had the whole of our road relaid with copper due to water ingress causing massive outages etc.

It's the same across the village from what I'm hearing, they could of just laid fibre instead of relaying miles of copper, which they will be digging up again when they roll out FTTP.

  • Bryer
  • about 1 year ago

To only lay fibre brings lots of regulatory issues and other unknowns that are set to be discovered by a trial in Salisbury. On new build homes fibre only is very common, but different scenario and Ofcom approved that previously.

As for digging up again, if the copper is in ducting then no need to dig it up, there should be space for running the fibre and installing the splitters/manifolds in the pavement chambers.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Kelso, Sprouston exchange (was previously part of kelso cab 5 and 6 to my memory ) day +1

4 or 5 openreach vans, and a full size highway maintenance truck full of duct, barriers and a mini digger. in a village of 100 or so

Openreach's usually open ended timescales seem to have got better

  • Hewitt96
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Broadband Watcher.
I think you will find that the Bordon work is complete at Kingsley and also work is in progress in the Alton area see roadworks Elgin reference PON showing 1500 mr
In Bordon new build aprox 80 Houses Dukes Taylor/ Wimpy are fibre not showing on TBB maps.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Presume you are talking about Fibre First in Bordon rather than Openreach in this case.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew.
The the Post Code is GU359FH i was given contact sale and they may give you the others.
There are a few at Liphook Area in Hewshott Lane very long lines with fibre also.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

The Smallburgh, Norfolk, exchange was fibre enabled years ago. I live nearby in Dilham.

We were forever told that, as an EO line, we would never get fibre. Then early last autumn after a lot of badgering we were told FTTP should be available in August this year.

I checked in December and was surprised and pleased to find that we are now fully FTTP and orders are being taken though not by my ISP (PlusNet) but with BT.

Please add this exchange to your list.

  • Dodman
  • about 1 year ago

@Blackmamba As I said this is Fibre First roll-out and not Openreach in that postcode. Contact sale again no idea what you mean.

You might be getting confused as its not showing up on the maps as they had such a small footprint have not rendered it before.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

The missing bits of FTTP around Dilham should appear in the checker in the morning and on maps later on Thursday/Friday

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew.. I visited the site before Xmas with sales on a plot number and I could see fibre had been cabled the transaction was Done last week. The phase has aprox 180 houses but I do not have the Post Codes. The new builds in Bordon are producing 2 houses per week.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Verwood is a proper town, not a market town, however, Ringwood is a market town, so when does that go on this list?

Oh wait, it won't because OR have been bodging it all together to keep us just over the 25 mbps minimum.

  • Alucidnation
  • about 1 year ago

And that was Openreach fibre? If so which house did you visit exactly?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

@alucidnation Based on what is happening in the trial villages, the existing FTTC speeds have no bearing on whether this commercial roll-out of FTTP will reach you.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Turns out my previous comment about the large openreach presence in the Sprouston area is just for a On Demmand install according to an angineer,

Also what does "being built to" mean, does it mean full install or that a cabinets being placed and you have to pay to be connected.

  • Hewitt96
  • about 1 year ago

Openreach FTTP does not add cabinets when rolling out FTTP.

'Being Built to' means that some/most/all (we don't know how many) premises in the named locations that are part of the exchange area will see FTTP available. This means a FTTP manifold will be on the pole or pavement chamber for the property.

There is a list price for the connection fee, but this is usually only £50 or in some cases free as providers merge it into the monthly costs.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

Hi Andrew. Thanks for Liphook Hewshott Lane, the Bordon one was a relative working when they received the keys.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 year ago

Just checked my post code on the Openreach checker and is now showing I am in the plans for rollout (Minster Exchange) Other postcodes in other areas of the same exchange do not show the same.... I am on a new build estate that is fully ducted so I guess they are going for the quick wins first.

We do currently have FTTC but due to the ever increasing size of the estate we already have 3 fibre cabinets next to each other, guess they have finally had enough of keep building more :)

  • kjwkjw
  • about 1 year ago

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