Openreach has announced that it has extended 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband availability across 4.5 million homes in the UK. This meets its latest deployment target to reach this figure by the end of March.
One might be impressed by Openreach managing to successfully meet its target in these difficult pandemic affected times but its field staff are designated key workers and continued to beaver away even during the strongest lockdowns the UK Gov enforced. To reach its 4.5m target Openreach added 1.9m premises in the last year.
If you aren't a resident in one of the 4.5m homes you might be more interested in how things are going to progress. Last week Ofcom released a statement about partners accelerating rollout of FTTP to 20m homes and businesses by the late 2020s. Its published intentions have been warmly welcomed by the likes of BT (and Openreach) as it allows for a "fair return on its c.£12 billion FTTP investment".
Encouraging statements were made by BT to the tune that it sees Ofcom's statement as a green light and is going to now "get on and build like fury". Openreach was more measured in its response suggesting the new Ofcom regulations would mean it can "ramp up to 3 million premises per year providing vital next generation connectivity for homes and business right across the UK". Openreach boasts that it is now "building faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK".
ISP Review has some interesting insight on the FTTP ramp and take-up by consumers. At the current time Openreach is enabling c.42,000 per week and, during the last quarter, they’ve seen new orders – across multiple ISPs (e.g. BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Zen Internet etc.) – reach an average rate of c.17,000 per week – an initial ratio which ISP Review asserts is evidence of "very strong take-up".