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On 11 January, Openreach opened for business after a strategic review of the telecoms market by the regulator, Ofcom. Responsible for maintaining and developing the local access network (also known as "the first mile") which connects homes and businesses to their local telephone exchange, Openreach provides a variety of wholesale products and services to communication providers (CPs) under the same prices, terms and conditions.
10.7m ‘unbundled’ lines in the UK, allowing communication providers to offer services over our copper network 20,000 engineers employed 400 communications providers using the Openreach network
For 2008 the wording should be ‘Openreach announced plans to make Britain’s biggest ever investment in communications infrastructure - £1.5bn to get to 10m homes by 2012 (later increased to £2.5bn) Openreach launched a new backhaul product, Ethernet Backhaul Direct – designed to meet increasing demand for high bandwidth capability from customers wishing to connect their local access circuits back to their core networks. The product made broadband applications such as video-on-demand a working reality. In August, as part of an initial trial, Openreach built Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) into a new 1,000 acre greenfield site at Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent. The service could support speeds of up to 100Mb – the fastest available to residential customers in the UK.
Openreach began pilots of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology in Muswell Hill, North London and Whitchurch, South Glamorgan – offering download speeds of up to 40Mb. Winter of 2009-2010 saw extreme weather conditions in the UK with considerable flooding and snow. On 20 November 2009, nearly 10,000 phone lines and 37,000 broadband lines were cut off as bridges collapsed and extensive flooding affected homes and businesses in Cumbria. Within 12 hours services to the majority of customers had been restored and most broadband lines were working again within 36 hours.
More than 99% now had access to first generation broadband capable of delivering up to 8Mbps. By 31 March 2010, our second generation broadband, based on ADSL2+ technology, offering up to 20Mbps service to 55% of the UK.
5m UK homes and businesses could now order fibre broadband over our network
10m UK homes and businesses could now order fibre and in April we doubled the download speeds of our Fibre-to-the-Cabinet technology to up to 80Mbps. London 2012: Our network was at the heart of the London Olympic and Paralympic games; providing 100Mbps speeds to around 19,000 athletes and officials based at the Olympic Village in east London. In July, Openreach launched its new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) range of products, which included some of the fastest wholesale services in the UK. In November, Openreach unveiled the world’s fastest working high-speed broadband service at Cornwall based engineering firm Arcol UK Ltd. The trial used new fibre technology called XGPON developed in partnership with electronics company ZTE. BT won 19 Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) bids for Openreach to deliver fibre broadband in areas outside of its commercial plans. In December 2012 Openreach connected the first BDUK customers in North Yorkshire, less than six months after signing the contract.
15m UK homes and businesses could now order fibre broadband over our network, with more than 1.5m homes and businesses connected. Our first ‘fibre only’ exchange in Deddington went live and we launched FTTP-on-Demand, allowing customers in FTTC areas to order an FTTP connection if they needed one.
20m UK homes and businesses could now order fibre broadband over our network, with over 2.7m homes and businesses connected.
Openreach announced plans to make ultrafast speeds available to 12 million premises by the end of 2020 using a mix of technologies – 10m using G.fast and 2m using Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP). Openreach Launch New 10Gbps Ethernet Access Direct service for business and corporate customers.
25m UK homes and businesses passed with fibre, with around 5.9m homes and businesses connected. Openreach trials simultaneous delivery of 3 wavelengths (40Gbps, 2.5Gbps and 10Gbps) over a single fibre, marking a European first and demonstrating our ability to meet future bandwidth demands for many years to come.
26.8mhomes and businesses passed with fibre with over 7.7m connected 580+ Communications providers using the Openreach network Over 30,000 people employed Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review – under the terms of the Commitments made by BT plc, Openreach will be incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of BT plc once certain conditions have been met.