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Openreach Reaches 3 Million Premises with Full-Fibre


Openreach’s rollout of its full-fibre network has pushed ahead this spring, despite social distancing measures and threats to engineers from confused coronavirus 5G conspiracy theorists.

The broadband network provider confirmed to ISPreview that it connected its three-millionth home to FTTP this week.

That’s a little over six months since it passed its two-millionth premise with the gigabit-capable fibre in December and just six weeks since it hit 2.5 million connections, suggesting the pace of installation is quickening. At its last official count, Openreach was installing 27,000 new connections a week—a figure that is likely higher now.

Annual figures confirm the accelerating rollout. Openreach added 1.3 million premises in the 2019-20 financial year and expects to reach two million this year before hitting its maximum build rate of three million.

In fact, Openreach appears to be outpacing its own expectations. Its original Fibre First plan, announced in 2018, aimed to connect three million addresses by March 2021. That target has been lifted several times since then and now stands at 4.5 million connections by next March, a midway point toward Openreach’s ultimate goal of covering 20 million locations by the mid to late 2020s, at a cost of £12 billion.

While much of Openreach’s build has focused on cities—it confirmed that it had reached 80,000 premises in Edinburgh last week—the provider has also targeted 250,000 locations in 227 rural areas. Openreach also recently covered 40% of all premises in Northern Ireland and is aiming for 20% more.

Households connected to Openreach’s fibre can subscribe to ultrafast broadband packages from Openreach owner BT, Sky and most recently Zen Internet, which just launched packages topping out at 900Mbps.

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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