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Openreach Full Fibre Passes 4.5 Million Connections

openreach-full-fibre-passes-4.5-million-connections (1)

Openreach has achieved its target of reaching 4.5 million premises with its gigabit-capable full-fire broadband network by March 2021.

Installations accelerated in the 2020-21 financial year, despite the impact of the pandemic.

Openreach engineers connected 1.9 million homes and businesses to the FTTP network between April 2020 and this month, reaching a build rate of 42,000 premises per week. Installations across the year were up from the 1.3 million new connections installed in the 2019-20 financial year. 

A spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview: “Despite the huge upheaval caused by the pandemic, our key worker engineers have been working safely throughout the country to keep people connected and to continue extending the network, meaning we’ve hit this interim target just ahead of our original schedule [the last day of March].”

The difficulties include the harassing of Openreach engineers by confused conspiracy theorists convinced 5G caused coronavirus. (5G is, of course, a mobile technology separate from fixed broadband and does not cause health problems, including coronavirus.)

The infrastructure provider expects to reach a maximum build rate of 3 million connections per year in the future, as it works toward its long-term goal of covering 20 million premises by the mid- to late-2020s. 

The rollout is expected to cost upwards of £12 billion, much of it funded by Openreach owner the BT Group but also supported by public funds, including the government’s £5 billion “Project Gigabit.” Project Gigabit is the new branding of Boris Johnson’s 2019 pledge to deliver 100% full-fibre coverage by 2025—a target that the industry has characterised as overoptimistic, if not impossible, and which has been watered down to 85% coverage.

The spokesperson for Openreach added: “Openreach isn’t the only company delivering against the Government’s 2025 ‘Gigabit broadband’ ambition, but we’re making the biggest investment—around £12 billion—have the biggest ambition and we’re building at the fastest pace in rural and urban communities all over the UK.”

Take-up of full-fibre among connected households is already high—and rising. All major ISPs which use Openreach’s infrastructure, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen Internet, are now selling packages on the FTTP network. New full-fibre orders across these ISPs have reached an average rate of 17,000 per week, up from 7,000 pre-lockdown and 13,000 in September 2020.

Installations accelerated in the 2020-21 financial year, despite the impact of the pandemic. This includes the harassing of Openreach engineers by confused conspiracy theorists convinced 5G caused coronavirus. (5G is, of course, a mobile technology separate from fixed broadband and does not cause health problems, including coronavirus.)

Openreach engineers connected 1.9 million homes and businesses to the full-fibre network between April 2020 and this month, reaching a build rate of 42,000 premises per week. Installations across the year were up from the 1.3 million new connections installed in the 2019-20 financial year. 

A spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview: “Despite the huge upheaval caused by the pandemic, our key worker engineers have been working safely throughout the country to keep people connected and to continue extending the network, meaning we’ve hit this interim target just ahead of our original schedule [the last day of March].”

The infrastructure provider expects to reach a maximum build rate of 3 million connections per future in the future, as it works toward its long-term goal of covering 20 million premises by the mid- to late-2020s. 

The rollout is expected to cost upwards of £12 billion, much of it funded by Openreach owner the BT Group but also supported by public funds, including the government’s £5 billion “Project Gigabit.” Project Gigabit is the new branding of Boris Johnson’s 2019 pledge to deliver 100% full-fibre coverage by 2025—a target that the industry has characterised as overoptimistic, if not impossible and which has been watered down to 85% coverage.

The spokesperson for Openreach added: “Openreach isn’t the only company delivering against the Government’s 2025 ‘Gigabit broadband’ ambition, but we’re making the biggest investment—around £12 billion—have the biggest ambition and we’re building at the fastest pace in rural and urban communities all over the UK.”

Take-up of full-fibre among connected households is already high—and rising. All major ISPs which use Openreach’s infrastructure, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen Internet, are now selling packages on the FTTP network. New FTTP orders across these ISPs have reached an average rate of 17,000 per week, up from 7,000 pre-lockdown and 13,000 in September 2020.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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