Openreach (BT) today added 551 new UK cities to its gigabit-enabled Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP rollout plan. The latest batch of locations represents a total of 5 million additional premises, all of which will be modernized as part of their Â£ 15 billion project to cover 25 million premises by December 2026.
At present, the operator’s full fiber optic deployment has already covered more than 5 million homes and businesses in the UK (1.9 million were added in 2020/21), which is working at a construction rate of around 43,000 premises per week. Additionally, Openreach sees orders for this service – through various ISPs (eg BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Zen Internet, etc.) – run at an average rate of around 17,000 per week.
However, the plan to reach 25 million (around 80% of premises in the UK) means their pace of deployment will continue to accelerate until it peaks at around 75,000 premises per week, which is equivalent to around 4 million locals deployed. one year. To achieve this, Openreach’s own engineers will need to be supported by those of the contractors, including Kier, Mr. J. Quinn and Telent.
The accelerated rollout also means that Openreach will need to announce many more locations for its future construction, which is reflected in today’s announcement of 551 more locations. Virtually all of today’s additions focus on urban or suburban areas, ranging from Bornemouth, in Dorset, Dunfermline, in Scotland, Kettering, in the East Midlands, Sunderland to the northeast, and Wrexham, in Wales.
Overall, over 2,400 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets across the UK have now been included in their ‘Fiber firstâDeployment program. We have to point out that today’s listing adds an additional 5 million locals to their plan, which means this is by no means a complete picture, and more construction announcements will follow later. .
Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:
âNo one is building Full Fiber faster, further or with better quality than Openreach in the UK. Our engineers and construction partners are working hard to bring this life-changing technology to rural, urban and suburban communities across the country and we are excited to flesh out our plans with more details on where and when to. will be immovable.
Over a million customers are already enjoying our most revolutionary and reliable broadband yet. The next generation of the Internet is ready for anything. You can surf, shop, play, work and learn all without wasting time – so check out our website to see when we hit your street.
The expansion of Openreach’s commercial construction also means there will be less gap for the government Â£ 5 billion Gigabit project program to fill, although this may also put additional pressure on some alternative network providers who were targeting some of the same areas. Indeed, we have already heard of examples where projects involving rural gigabit coupons have been disrupted by Openreach’s expanded rural plans.
On the other hand, the operator’s deployment will still leave around 20% of the premises unserved, which is what the Gigabit project will focus on. Deployment costs rise disproportionately the further you move away from urban areas and Openreach has previously claimed that those for the final 10% could cost Â£ 4,000 each or more (here) which would not be economically viable for most. only commercial constructions.
Otherwise, work on these latter locations will begin “Later this year“and some of them will not be completed until the final date of December 2026. As usual, you can see the full list on the Openreach website.
NOTE: Openreach, like most operators, won’t always cover 100% of the premises in every location they build, and sometimes they will come back later to complete additional coverage. Long-term construction plans can also be subject to change, such as when a location turns out to be more expensive than the one modeled, due to various obstacles.