Thousands of new homes 'still missing out' on full fibre broadband, Openreach warns

Thousands of new homes 'still missing out' on full fibre broadband, Openreach warns

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The number of new-build properties in Scotland that are not able to enjoy full fibre connectivity is still too high, Openreach has warned, despite efforts to ensure every new home has this technology available.

Director of infrastructure solutions at the network provider Matthew Kirkman told attendees at a homebuilders' conference in Edinburgh organised by the firm that around 3,000 new properties a year in the country are still missing out on full fibre.

This equates to around 13 per cent of all developments in Scotland, he noted. The company therefore urged developers to work closely with Openreach to close this gap and make sure buyers are not missing out.

Mr Kirkman said that full fibre is the future of connectivity in the UK and developers working on new developments have a "great opportunity" to be at the forefront in this digital revolution.

While around 87 per cent of new homes in Scotland have now signed up with Openreach for the deployment of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, the remainder are still split between superfast services delivered via fibre-to-the-cabinet, or in some cases, copper wires only.

"Research from the London School of Economics has shown that the standard of connectivity has a direct impact on house pricing, so building reliable, ultrafast connections in new developments is a no-brainer," he continued. "We want to see full fibre installed in all new developments, and all residents having access to a competitive retail market through our open network."

Openreach provides several incentives to encourage the take-up of FTTP broadband in new-build properties, offering to install the technology free of charge to all new housing developments of 30 or more homes, while also cutting the prices it charges for smaller sites by more than 75 per cent.

The company currently aims to bring ultrafast, gigabit-capable services to three million premises before the end of 2020 and reach ten million premises by the middle of the decade.

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