UK’s full fibre rollout ramps up

UK fibre infrastructure providers Openreach and Hyperoptic have announced an extension of their deployment plans to new locations.

Openreach is planning on deploying gigabit-capable full fibre to 36 new locations as it targets 25 million premises in its network by December 2026. It says 1.5 million homes and businesses have already connected to the new network.

Around half a million homes and businesses have been added to the rollout plan in Accrington, Lancs, Boldon, Tyne & Wear, Dudley, West Mids, Hornchurch, Gtr London, Kemptown, East Sussex, Manningham, West Yorks,and West Houghton, and Gtr Manchester. Overall, 2,700 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are covered  in the company’s build programme.

“Over a whopping seven million homes can now connect to our Full Fibre network which is a fantastic achievement, “ said Clive Selley, Openreach CEO. “We’ve come a long way – it took eight years for us to pass our first million premises, but only four months to pass our latest million. “We believe that full fibre is the future for the UK and that’s why we want to deliver full fibre broadband to 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026.

“The shift from copper to fibre will be every bit as significant as the move from analogue to digital and black and white tv to colour. By eventually retiring analogue phone lines, we will be creating a simplified network which allows us to meet the enhanced needs of an increasingly digital society.”

Meanwhile Hyperoptic intends to drop £200 million into its full fibre network and lay 1500km of fibre in the UK this year, which will hook up 400,000 homes and businesses. Its current network passes 825,000 homes and businesses, and serves over 230,000 customers.

The firm claims to be one of the first network operators to use Openreach’s Physical Infrastructure Access products says it has standardised its approach to using existing duct and pole infrastructure, whilst minimising disruption and roadworks.

It aims to pass two million homes by the end of 2023, and has deployed its full fibre network across Shepherd’s Bush, Hammersmith, Kensington, Poplar, Wapping, Canary Wharf in East London, Manchester city centre and Edinburgh. It is also actively rolling out in Maida Vale, St John’s Wood, North Kensington, Notting Hill, Shoreditch, Southwark, Bermondsey, Brixton, Liverpool city centre and Glasgow. It will soon roll out in Fulham, Pimlico, Willesden Green, Holloway, Hackney and Balham and Clapham, and plans are in place for Peckham, Surrey Quays, Catford, Walthamstow and Islington.

“Over the last couple of years we have scaled the processes needed to expand our full fibre network – ensuring we deliver a great installation and customer experience,” said Aurélie Canales, Chief Transformation and Major Products Officer at Hyperoptic. “We are very excited to continue accelerating rollout and bring future-proofed connectivity to even more communities.”

Elsewhere CityFibre recently raised £1.425 billion in capital to further fund its £4 billion full fibre rollout project that will see it deploy to up to 8 million homes by 2025. CityFibre says it is already the largest provider of full fibre in 26 UK cities. All in all there’s a lot of activity going on in the full fibre sector right now, and plenty of money sloshing around from investors to fund it.


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