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Openreach has urged the broadband sector to rally behind its ambition to build and deploy a full-fibre network in Britain.

According to Mike McTighe, Chairman of Openreach, the UK is getting to the point where its copper-based infrastructure will soon "run out of steam".

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum, he said this means there is a growing need to focus on full-fibre deployment.

However, he said creating a full-fibre network across the UK will take a long time and work needs to begin as soon as possible.

Furthermore, Mr McTighe stressed that this work can only be carried out with the backing of broadband providers.

"We need the industry to get behind this and figure out collectively how to make it happen, and we need the government and Ofcom to play their part if we are to come up with a compelling investment case that we can take to shareholders," he commented.

"We cannot do this on our own."

Mr McTighe added that is imperative the UK does not end up in a position where two separate networks need to be managed and run at the same time.

Indeed, he said the country needs the ability to switch off the copper network, which in turn means modest increases in wholesale pricing of services to retail service providers are required.

Openreach is already consulting with communications providers to identify the level of demand for a major full-fibre deployment.

The organisation 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. Source:

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