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Openreach confirms next full-fibre areas, boosts number of engineers

Openreach confirms next full-fibre areas, boosts number of engineers

Broadband infrastructure provider Openreach has stepped up its push to improve the coverage of full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services throughout the UK with the announcement of the next 11 locations that will receive the technology.

At the same time, the company has also confirmed plans to recruit more than 3,000 extra engineers up and down the UK in order to help it meet its goal of connecting three million homes and businesses to the technology by the end of next year.

The next towns and cities set to be hooked up to these services will be Bury, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Croydon, Greater Glasgow, Harrow, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Salford and Sutton Coldfield.

Openreach also confirmed that it will publish details of its plans for the next 12 months online, allowing customers to see where progress is being made.

The company's Chief Executive Clive Selley said: "Openreach is ambitious for the UK and is determined to build full fibre as quickly as possible to ensure the country has a reliable broadband network capable of supporting future data-hungry services and applications essential for boosting productivity and sustaining our position as a leading digital economy."

Full fibre, or FTTP, sees high-speed fibre infrastructure delivered all the way to a user's door, as opposed to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), which is the most common type of fibre connection currently available in the UK. FTTC only uses fibre cabling as far as the street-level cabinet, with traditional copper wiring providing the final connection to users' homes.

This means its speeds are much more limited than FTTP, which can provide download speeds of up to 1Gbps - around 30 times faster than the UK average.

The news of 3,000 extra fibre engineers to help deliver this was also welcomed by the government, with Digital Minister Margot James saying: "Long-term commitments from the industry like this are very important for local communities who need this kind of guarantee on when they will be able to take advantage of the benefits that fibre can bring."

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