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Openreach steps up better broadband build with 59 new locations

Press Release   •   Jun 25, 2018 09:13 BST

  • Builds upon existing 46 locations around Britain where cutting edge technology is already enabling trouble-free homeworking, multiple HD video streaming and instant file downloads

  • Upgrade will future-proof homes and businesses for next generation technologies such as 8k TV and ‘intelligent’ connected home applications

Openreach, Britain’s national broadband infrastructure provider, today announces a boost to its better broadband build programme which will enhance Britain’s digital infrastructure and reinforce the UK’s position as the leading digital economy in the G20. 1

Openreach has extended the reach of its ultrafast broadband technology providing a faster, more stable service making it ideal for home workers and small business use, helping to boost productivity and, in turn, the UK economy.

Ultrafast broadband includes both Gfast and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Today’s roll-out of Gfast adds to the 46 locations where the technology is already deployed. Gfast builds on existing infrastructure, changing the way broadband signals are transmitted to make them ultrafast without the need to dig up roads and install new cabling all the way to the property.

Aberdeen, Bury, Taunton and Market Harborough are amongst 59 locations (full list below) which make up the next phase of the programme and will provide ultrafast broadband to more than 370,000 homes and businesses across the country.

Kim Mears, MD for Strategic Infrastructure Development, said: “Britons are using their home broadband connections more than ever - consuming more than double the amount of data than they did just three years ago. A mass of new apps and services which demand higher quality broadband connections are becoming parts of our daily lives in our homes and at work – like virtual and augmented reality and more sophisticated online gaming, education and healthcare. That’s why we’re making this huge investment in upgrading the network, to make sure we stay a step ahead of that demand.”

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) roll-out

This is part of a wider programme which will also see Openreach building future-proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology to three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 through its new ‘Fibre First’ programme.

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.

The business wants to extend this rollout 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 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.

The company’s ‘Fibre First’ programme – where fibre optic cables are laid from the exchange right to people’s front doors is gathering pace with engineers building the network to a further 8,000 more homes and businesses coming within reach of the new network every week.

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.

People interested in upgrading their broadband to new ultrafast services can see if they’re able to connect by entering their postcode into Openreach’s online fibre checker at openreach.co.uk.

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

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • You can watch or download our ‘What is Gfast?’ video here

  • You can watch our ‘Rolling out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)’ video here
  • For an insight into how the ultrafast technology is already having an impact – take a look at our video case study here featuring Swansea based business Veeqo.

What is Gfast?

1 Gfast technology builds on our existing infrastructure and changes the way we transmit broadband signals to make them ultrafast without the need to install new cabling all the way to a property.

Gfast works by running a fibre from the telephone exchange to the fibre street cabinet – a side pod is bolted to the street cabinet and new electronics provides a more powerful signal that then travels over existing copper lines into the home or business.

Once the side pod’s attached and connected, we’re ready to take orders from communications providers. Our online fibre checker is updated so that people can see if they can get a Gfast service. The information also appears on the systems our communications providers use to order service.

Using Gfast we can make ultrafast fibre available more quickly to a much larger number of homes and businesses than if it focused on ‘Full Fibre’ (FTTP) technology alone.

Gfast ultrafast speeds let you download a two hour HD film in just 90 seconds, a 45 minute HD TV show in just 16 seconds, or a nine hour audio book in just three seconds.

What difference does it make?

Ultrafast broadband makes everything happen so much more quickly. For example;

  • Downloading a typical HD film (size 5GB) would take less time than it takes to make a cup of tea. Ultrafast broadband would download it in less than a minute, meaning there will be no waiting or buffering.
  • With ultrafast broadband, it enables people within your home to go online at the same time. You’ll be able to do a number of things simultaneously such as gaming online, streaming live music, and uploading large files to social media. There’s enough bandwidth for a family of four to all stream ultra HD or 4k quality movies or TV simultaneously.
  • Uploading is quicker and easier too, posting 100 photos to Facebook (size 300Mbps) takes a matter of seconds with ultrafast.
  • Businesses, or small businesses operating from home, will be able to complete on a level playing field with competitors from all over the UK and around the world. Uploading and downloading large files will be easier as will things like remote monitoring, video conferencing and streaming.For example, ultrafast speeds mean businesses can transfer data over the internet faster that you can write data to a thumb drive. Plus you can download data as fast as many computers can save the data to a hard drive.

The latest Openreach exchanges to benefit from this Gfast upgrade are:

Aberdeen Denburn, Acocks Green, Altrincham, Aylesbury, Bedford, Birmingham Central, Bishops Stortford, Boscombe, Bowes Park, Bury St. Edmunds, Bury, Byfleet, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Cosham, Didsbury, Erdington, Gipsy Hill, Guildford, Hampton, Harlow, Harrogate, Headingley, Heywood, Kingston, Lancaster, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Llantrisant, Maidstone, Market Harborough, Mile End, Morley, Narborough, North Finchley, Paignton, Plymouth, Rugby, Shipley, Slough, South Kensington, Southampton, Southend Town, St Albans, Stockton Heath, Swadlincote, Tamworth, Taunton, Telford Wellington, Tunbridge Wells, Walthamstow, Weston Super Mare, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Woodhouse (Berkshire), Woodley, York.

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