Openreach aims to increase the speed at which it installs Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband capability, with a goal of reaching 25 million premises by 2025.
Over the past year, Openreach, which is the independent fixed access infrastructure arm of BT, tied two million premises with FTTP, a record for the company.
According to the group, it now has the capacity to reach around 4 million premises per year. As such, the increased capacity has given BT the confidence to accelerate its total construction of FTTP from 20 million to 25 million premises by December 2026.
In addition, other recent developments have led BT and Openreach to accelerate the deployment of FTTP. There has been encouraging uptake of the current FTTP footprint and the positive outcome of the recent 5G spectrum auction. In addition, Ofcom’s wholesale fixed-line telecommunications market review clarified the regulations on how to deploy FTTP, and the UK government recently granted a super cash tax deduction.
Currently, FTTP broadband is the fastest available option. Conventional broadband, also known as fiber optic to the cabinet, runs over fiber optic cables to a local cabinet before running over much slower copper cabling to customer premises. FTTP uses fiber optic cables throughout a building, ensuring faster internet speeds everywhere.
Openreach will now start its ramp-up to 4 million premises per year with immediate effect. BT has the ability to fund this additional construction entirely from internal resources while continuing to meet its other priorities, including the 5G investment and modernization program.
Commenting on this additional build of FTTP, BT Group CEO Philip Jansen said: “BT is already building more fiber broadband for homes and businesses than anyone else in the UK. Today, we are increasing our FTTP target from 20 million to 25 million homes and businesses to deliver more value to our shareholders and support the government’s fiber optic ambitions.
“This has three huge advantages: it allows us to go faster, by strengthening our capacity to manufacture fiber for households and businesses; it allows us to go further, by providing fiber to more people, including in rural communities, and; it will help fuel the economic recovery in the UK, with better connectivity and up to 7,000 new jobs. “
Openreach Scotland Board Chair Katie Milligan added: “We are proud that BT is increasing its ambition for Openreach.
“We have already proven that we can build ultra-fast, ultra-reliable fiber optic broadband for hundreds of thousands of Scottish homes and businesses at a sustained pace, and without compromising on quality. We are also encouraged by the demand that we are seeing and, together with our experience and innovation in scaling the version, we are confident that we can reach hundreds of thousands more at costs of world class.
‘Research shows how integral fiber can make us more productive, competitive and environmentally friendly as a nation, and it can return 76,000 people to the Scottish workforce, boosting the economy of billions of pounds. . We therefore believe that the time has come to capitalize on this potential. All systems are destined for a full fiber future here at Openreach – and across Scotland. “