thinkbroadband tracking of Openreach FTTP roll-out hits 3 million premises mark
We have finally managed to find 3,001,154 premises where Openreach FTTP is available to the public.
The map shows what 3 million premises of FTTP looks like and you can see that are distinct clusters, in terms of coverage the top 10 places when looking at just Openreach full fibre coverage are:
- Belfast 71.71%
- Epsom and Ewell 62.99%
- Exeter 62.22%
- Lisburn and Castlereagh 55.68%
- Antrim and Newtownabbey 52.89%
- Ards and North Down 50.77%
- Salford 50.53%
- Barking and Dagenham 48.11%
- Derry and Strabane 47.78%
- City of Bristol 43.75%
Openreach declared the 3 million premises point some 11 to 12 weeks ago, so no doubt the financials for the quarter that ended on 30th September will see a figure of 3.5 million announced and with two quarters to go their goal of 4.5 million premises of FTTP for 31st March 2021 is looking entirely possible. If we keep working at the same rate this means we will have verified the 4.5 million by June 2021.
The pace of the roll-out is best illustrated by the 1.1 million premises added to the footprint since January 12th 2020 and that back in January the roll-out rate was around 23,000 premises a week whereas last month the pace was 35,800 a week.
A lot of criticism is thrown at Openreach but they are still the largest FTTP operator in the UK, the 2nd largest is Virgin Media via its RFOG roll-out (approx 0.75 million) and 3rd largest is FTTB operator Hyperoptic (approx 0.49 million).
We would have reached the 3 million figure a couple of weeks earlier but there has been a significant reduction in the amount of new build FTTP due to the pandemic which removed some of the easier to find chunks of Openreach FTTP. One of the things we have talked about before though is that Openreach outside of its Fibre First and Fibre Town/Village programmes is also re-visiting estates built in the last couple of decades bringing FTTP to them, the progress we have seen in this will get reported on our usual 12th of each month roundup.
Of course the 3 million is just the premises passed, what needs to happen next is for the public to order and pay for the service. The speed test data shows people are using services and the next couple of quarters will be interesting to see if the lockdown pushes take-up as more people seek a more reliable connection, though we do expect that demand to be a delicate balancing act since lots of people have lost their jobs or seen their income reduced even if retaining their job.