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Openreach has called for politicians and the wider broadband industry to work with it to create a large-scale full-fibre network.

The infrastructure body is currently consulting with communications providers to identify the level of demand for a major full-fibre deployment.

Openreach believes a large-scale rollout can only take place if there is greater industry and political collaboration.

This, it said, would enable stakeholders to devise new investment, risk and cost-sharing models, as well as reach an agreement on how to migrate customers onto the new platform en masse.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, commented: "Full-fibre broadband is faster, more reliable and simpler to maintain, and it has the potential to power the UK’s economic success for a century, but it also requires a Victorian-scale vision, commitment and investment. 

"The engineering, commercial and operational challenges are significant, but I believe that greater collaboration across the industry will help us to overcome them and build more Fibre-to-the-Premises infrastructure."

Mr Selley noted that by using new techniques, Openreach has been able to halve the cost of delivering full-fibre infrastructure.

However, he said building a large-scale network represents a "huge" commercial, technical and logistical challenge.

This, he argued, means government and industry both need to display "real ingenuity, flexibility and coordination".

"With the right conditions, we believe we could make FTTP available to as many as ten million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s," Mr Selley continued.

Nevertheless, he said Openreach must understand if there is sufficient demand to justify the rollout, as well as "support for the enablers needed to build a viable business case".

"That includes removing barriers to investment and incentivising those, like Openreach, who are prepared to take a commercial risk," he stated.

Mr Selley went on to note that Openreach has invested billions of pounds into its network over the last decade.

He said this is now "powering the leading digital economy in the G20", while faster internet access has "radically improved" people's personal and professional lives.

"Now we have the opportunity to accelerate that positive change and embrace the digital age ahead of us," Mr Selley added.

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