LONDON – Openreach today outlined plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable FTTP broadband available to more than three million homes and businesses in some of the UK's hardest to serve communities. This follows a new consultation from industry regulator Ofcom, published today, where it proposes that such a build commitment from Openreach is sufficient for them to extend the fibre enablers previously set out in their WFTMR ii consultation for Area 2, to Area 3. This will contribute to the right investment conditions for Area 3 being in place. Ofcom has estimated that there are 9.6 million homes and businesses situated in this final third of the country.
The build to 3.2m UK premises forms part of a massive £12 billion investment which will see Openreach's ambition to build 'Full Fibre' infrastructure to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s – delivering significant economic, social and environmental benefits for rural and urban communities, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place.
The company is also publishing an extended list of 251 locations in the final third where it will build the new network over the next three years including the likes of Millom, Thurso, Ballycastle and Aberystwyth.
The data provides more clarity on its plans - giving greater certainty to local authorities, investors and customers - and supports the Government's strategy to accelerate commercial investments in Full Fibre networks throughout the UK.