Openreach 'triples pace' of new-build FTTP rollouts

Openreach 'triples pace' of new-build FTTP rollouts

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Infrastructure provider Openreach has revealed it is making good progress in its efforts to ensure as many new-build properties as possible are connected to full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband, with the vast majority of such homes now receiving the technology.

In a presentation to an Independent Networks Co-operative Association seminar, director of infrastructure solutions at the firm Matthew Kirkman revealed the company is now adding gigabit-capable connectivity at a rate of 20,000 homes per week, some three times faster than last year.

What's more, almost nine out of ten new-build properties (88 per cent) now opt for this technology, with suggesting one of the main reasons for the increase in pace is the fact that Openreach now offers to install FTTP for free on any new-build development of 30 or more homes, with smaller developments still qualifying for significant discounts on previous costs.

So far, 2,186 sites have registered for the sub-30 home discount, with 21.6 per cent of related plots contracting for FTTP and a further 76.4 per cent opting for FTTC. Just two per cent of new developments continue to rely on old-fashioned copper line-only solutions.

Mr Kirkman revealed around one million plots managed by 14,000 different developers have contracted with Openreach for fibre broadband since February 2016, with 840,000 being delivered through FTTP technology. Meanwhile, some 400,000 of these FTTP deployments are classified as 'self-install', meaning the majority of the work is completed by the developer rather than Openreach.

He also forecast that by 2023-24, around 99 per cent of new-build properties will be equipped with FTTP connectivity, equating to around 243,000 premises by this time.

The growth of gigabit-capable new builds will also help Openreach with its goal of connecting ten million premises to full fibre by 2025. So far, the firm has reached 1.2 million premises, meaning it is almost halfway to its interim 'fibre first' target of reaching three million premises by the end of 2020.

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