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Exeter gets set to join the ultrafast highway

Press Release   •   Jun 29, 2018 10:30 BST

  • Exeter the latest city added to Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme which will connect 40 towns and cities with Fibre-to-the-Premises by 2020

Exeter has today (Friday, 29 June) been announced as the latest city to benefit from Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme which is making Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology available to three million homes and businesses across the UK by 2020.

Exeter joins eight other cities across the UK - Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester – that make up the first phase of Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme which will connect up to 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs with FTTP networks.

Further details of the FTTP build, where fibre optic cables are laid from the exchange right to people’s front doors, are expected to be announced later in the year.

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “Through ‘Fibre First’, Openreach is getting on with the job of building an Ultrafast Britain. We are building FTTP to three million premises across 40 towns and cities by 2020 and I’m delighted to announce that Exeter will be among the first to benefit from this commitment.

“Since starting the ‘Fibre First’ programme a few months ago, Openreach has built a footprint of nearly 70k across the eight cities we announced in our first wave. That’s a delivery rate of full fibre to more than a thousand homes every week.

“This sets us on course to hit our ambition of building 10m FTTP by mid 2020s and become the nationwide full-fibre provider. We will continue to invest and recruit in the south west and across the UK to build the most capable, highly skilled, national fibre delivery machine in the UK.”

Welcoming the announcement, UK Government Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: "We have worked hard to create the right environment to drive commercial investment in the deployment of full fibre.”

“Openreach's "Fibre First" initiative is an ambitious programme - it's brilliant that homes and businesses in Exeter will now have full fibre, gigabit broadband delivered right to their doorstep."

Cllr Rachel Sutton, Exeter City Council Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “This is fantastic news for Exeter. Piping ultrafast broadband straight into people’s homes will enable them to live better and enjoy technology to the full.”

It’s a further boost for Exeter, following the announcement earlier this year that Openreach will be establishing a new fibre engineering school in Exeter Business Park and recruiting more than 450 new trainee engineers across the south west to help deliver ultrafast broadband

Exeter already has access to extensive high-speed broadband, with more than 96 per cent of households and businesses across the city now able to connect at 24Mbps and over*. An ultrafast FTTP network will take this to the next level providing access to speeds up to 1Gbps– that’s about 24 times faster than the current UK average of 44Mbps.

Ultrafast fibre networks provide enough additional capacity to support future data hungry services and applications, such as ultra HD TV, Virtual Reality gaming and smart sensors and devices which can control anything from thermostats and security cameras, to door locks, lawn sprinklers, window blinds and washing machines.

Openreach has already made ultrafast broadband available to more than one and a half million premises across the UK, and has ambitions to go even further.

Openreach’s ambition is to build FTTP to around 10 million premises by the mid-2020s, and ultimately the majority of homes and businesses across Britain if there are the right conditions to invest.

Openreach will also continue to focus on delivering FTTP to rural areas, in partnership with the Government, to make sure some of the hardest to reach communities in the UK get access to future-proofed, FTTP networks.

Find out more about Openreach’s ultrafast broadband work at openreach.co.uk/ultrafast.

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Notes to editors

*According to ThinkBroadband http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/exeter,E07000041

Full-fibre means fibre optic cable runs all the way from the exchange to your house. Gives speeds of up to 1Gb (can stream 200 HD movies at same time) and a more reliable network.

You can also view our ‘Rolling out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)’ video here

For further information

Enquiries about this story can be made to the Openreach PR team on: 020 7809 7950 or email press@openreach.co.uk.

All news releases can be accessed on our web site.

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk