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Almost one million premises in the UK are now in reach of an ultrafast full-fibre connection offered by alternative network providers.

This is the finding of a report by Point Topic and the Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA), which said the figure is nearly double the number of homes and businesses reached by BT Openreach.

The report also predicted that by 2025, the number of premises passed by full-fibre infrastructure deployed by altnets will reach nearly 14.25 million. This would include around 4.8 million live connections and cover 50 per cent of the UK's population.

Malcolm Corbett, Chief Executive of INCA, said the findings show altnets are making "great progress" both in urban and rural areas.

"They are delivering the future-proofed digital infrastructure the country needs for long-term prosperity," he commented.

"The investment and competitive dynamic these companies have introduced mean that we will get ultrafast full-fibre networks and high-speed wireless broadband much faster than simply relying on the incumbent."

Mr Corbett went on to stress that government support for the sector has been "tremendously helpful", as continued support for altnets can help to speed up the deployment of new networks and services.

Digital and Culture Minister Margot James hailed the findings, saying the right environment is being created to drive industry investment.

"I'm delighted by the altnets' ambitious plans to reach millions more homes and businesses over the next few years," she commented.

Ms James added that the government is supporting these goals through investment in new fibre networks, 5G projects and by removing business rates for new fibre deployment for five years.

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