178,030 premises passed by Openreach FTTP added in last month
Openreach FTTP continues to be found at faster and faster rates, and the 178,030 added to our checkers and maps since 12th July is testament to that, the previous month had seen 146,552 premises passed. Officially when the BT Group results were released their footprint was 2,975,000 premises at the end of June, so our total known footprint of 2,725,863 premises is still some way behind, but is holding at our usual 8 weeks to catch them up.
The last month saw us adding 5,742 premises each day i.e. 40,200 every week and with the Openreach target of 4.5 million premises passed by the end of March 2021 this sort of pace is exactly what is needed to jump from 3 million premises to 4.5 million premises in the next 9 months.
The last month has seen announcements by Openreach adding more exchange areas to Fibre First and Fibre Town/Village lists and that means that we are not showing the monthly change figures, i.e. we only show those when the underlying exchange categories are stable.
Split of where Openreach FTTP has been built:
- 514,498 premises via BDUK/gap funded or other rural intervention
- 1,456,958 premises in Fibre First areas
- 145,683 premises in Fibre Town/Village areas
- 116,040 premises in new build properties constructed in 2016 and later
- 34,525 premises in properties constructed between 2006 and 2015
- 47,990 premises in properties constructed between 1996 and 2005
- 116,040 premises via commercial/old roll-out
There are also two new entries, which reflect the pattern observed that Openreach is building a decent amount of FTTP on estates where they have good records and good condition ducting i.e. is fairly easy to roll-out to and on the lower end of the cost spectrum.
With the expanded Fibre First exchange list the total number of premises across those exchanges is 3,359,232 and with the number with FTTP available already means roll-out has reached 43.3% of those premises.
The Fibre Town/Village footprint covers some 2,346,077 potential premises, so the number built to so far means the roll-out has reached just 6% of those premises, so clearly a lot more to be done.
The size of the two footprints show that Openreach has plenty of premises in hand to reach its 4.5 million target and thus it is not about waiting on more blocks of exchanges to be announced, but seeing if they can continue to build at the pace they are.
Looking further into the future if the 40,200 premises per week pace is sustained for 5 years Openreach is looking at a FTTP footprint of 13.5 million premises in 2025. Add in the other other FTTP builders and the Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.1 footprint and the 100% Gigabit target while still challenging looks possible if overlapping of networks is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately the overlap situation is such that 82% of the Fibre First footprint built to date have a Virgin Media cable option that will in 2021 definitely be DOCSIS 3.1, and it will be a similar picture for other FTTP roll-outs such as CityFibre. This level of overlap and worries about what will happen to those missed out of the commercial roll-outs reflect the negativity from various quarters around the 100% Gigabit by 31st March 2026 challenge.
Update August 13th: Minor correction, on the BDUK/gap funded or other rural intervention line the change from the previous was copy and pasted by mistake. For those asking why the count for this category see the paragraph above the list. The longer version of the explanation is that the Fibre Town/Villages are covering some areas that were previous BDUK funded and in some of the villages we had already been seeing FTTP build, so as exchanges are now flagged as Fibre Village ones the FTTP counts shuffle around slightly.