At Openreach, we’ve committed to making full ‘fibre to the premises’ (FTTP) broadband available to three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 and in doing that, we’re determined to be as open and transparent about our build programme* as we can possibly be.
That’s why we now publish a range of details about our FTTP ‘Fibre First’ towns and cities programme on our public website, including the locations we intend to start build in over the next 12 months and the total number of telephone exchanges that we plan to reach in those locations over the next 24 months.
We also publish details of the specific exchanges where we’re currently building FTTP, where it’s already been built, or where we intend to start building within the next three months. And we’ll update all of this information every three months.
The list of locations and exchanges are reviewed and agreed in advance of publication by our Openreach Operations Board, to make sure all the published data is accurate and reflects our build plans at the time of publication.
We don’t intend to change these plans or the list of exchanges, but clearly building a new broadband network across the UK is a huge and complex national engineering programme, so some changes may occur where we encounter unforeseen obstacles.
For example, the start of any building work will be subject to us getting the right level of support from relevant local authorities, and our own operational capability and efficiency. This includes having access to multi-dwelling units like apartment blocks, for example.
And when it comes to the actual build, we might discover conditions on the ground which restrict the proportion of an exchange area that we can upgrade. Considering the published plans at exchange level, our intention is always to upgrade the greater majority of the exchange and we’ll certainly flag when any information for a location has changed.
In the event that a town, borough or city is removed from the list, we will always explain the reasons behind that decision.
These commitments support the Government’s strategy, as set out in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, to accelerate commercial full fibre network investment across the UK, and you can read more about our specific approach to publishing build plans here.
Catherine Colloms, MD Corporate Affairs
*Programme Build Complete refers to the exchanges where build has been completed as part of the FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme, but does not mean that services will be available from this date.