Broadband News

Openreach announces completion of full fibre roll-out in Salisbury

Salisbury has been a place where FTTP from retailers who do not normally sell FTTP have been appearing and today the reason why is very clear.

Openreach has announced the completion of the fastest city wide build in the UK and making the service available to over 20,000 premises in 12 months.

This roll-out will underpin the switch off of the PSTN network in the area, that will involve for every property that takes a telephone line based broadband service switching over to the FTTP service and for those that have just a voice service over copper installing the fibre into the home. The plan is that copper based services will stop being sold in December 2020 and the migration to be completed by December 2022. There will be bumps along the way and that is the whole point of doing this in Salisbury, i.e. discover the unknowns and also find solutions to them when they do occur.

Openreach admits that there is around 8% of premises in the city that cannot order FTTP today over the Openreach network, these are largely blocks of flats where wayleave permission is needed. Apparently the street side works have been done, but these properties do not show in the premises passed statistics since they cannot do the final run even if a member of the public was to order a service.

Salisbury was a good starting place. as it is fairly small but still large enough to hold enough building variety that lessons can be learnt that apply across the UK.

So has Openreach delivered? Well 12 months ago we were tracking Openreach FTTP coverage of 3.4% and this was at 85.2% on Thursday morning but by the evening after a sweep across the City this rose to 89.4% of the 24,929 premises on the Salisbury exchange. The map below shows the spread of postcodes where Openreach full fibre is currently not available.

Postcodes without Openreach FTTP in Salisbury
Map of postcodes where Openreach FTTP is not available on Salisbury exchange - 11th June 2020

The vast majority do appear to be flats, generally low rise blocks of just a couple of floors, but there is some business addresses and other properties spread across the exchange area.

Hopefully as we've seen in various Fibre First areas, some landlords/freeholders will respond to contact requests and blocks will join the rest of Salisbury with the option of full fibre in the coming months.

Salisbury does have a large Virgin Media presence and for those who take phone and broadband from Virgin Media and have no Openreach services the switch over will not affect them.

For anyone wondering once Virgin Media switches on DOCSIS 3.1 in the exchange area the Gigabit coverage levels will rise to 96.2%. For Salisbury as a local authority the boundary is of course different to the telephone exchange and there are full fibre options from firms such as OFNL to add to the mix - that local authority figure will be published on Saturday 13th June 2020 in the weekly update.

For those wondering if Salisbury is the most Openreach FTTP'd exchange, it is NOT. There are seven small exchanges such as Great Bernera with 100% coverage but of the 10,000 plus premises size ones Childwall (11,994 premises) is in the lead at 99.6%. Ignoring size Salisbury exchange is 35th out of 5,551 exchanges and 87 exchanges have 75% or higher Openreach FTTP coverage. 


And also, today DCMS have opened an enquiry into the Access to Infrastructure regulations. See for more on this. Also El Reg has an interesting slant on this announcement here (

  • mollcons
  • 28 days ago

God knows why Salisbury was chosen.

  • Alucidnation
  • 28 days ago


Simple, a self contained city with only one exchange. Wide range of type of premises, both business and residential. Gives a chance to see all the issues that are likely to arise. Easy to do publicity on as the area is clearly defined.

  • jumpmum
  • 27 days ago

Interesting. Where does that map come from?

  • Draak
  • 27 days ago

A system that we use internally that then is used to create all the various stats we provide and have on as well as the various public maps.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 26 days ago

I imagine the VOIP migration is going to cause quite a bit of customer confusion. I believe Openreach stopped selling FVA since March this year. As far as I can see the BT smart hub has no phone socket for VOIP. Other ISPs have put phone sockets and VOIP capability into their latest routers. Some customers will have their voice phone service from BT but their Internet service from another ISP, will non-BT routers be configurable to use a BT VOIP service ?

  • gpc1
  • 24 days ago

What about phone call privacy where the voice IP packets route through more than one provider's network (e.g. through peering points) ? Will consumers be aware of how much easier that potentially makes tapping their phone calls? Or will encryption systems be developed to overcome this.

Quite a few issues to sort out on the voice side of this over the next 18 months.

  • gpc1
  • 24 days ago

BT Smart Hub 2 definitely does have a phone socket (Digital Voice)

The voice calls are not peered in the same way as the TCP traffic to say this website, but picked by the broadband providers network early on and handled just like they handle their voice traffic in terms of routing to all the other voice providers. So yes tunnelled and encrypted.

if anything it will make tapping a call harder, as today a simple recorder can be patched to a line between home and phone exchange and make a simple analogue recording.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 24 days ago

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