3.2 million rural properties will benefit from full fiber broadband in new Openreach deployment
The UK’s largest broadband network operator, Openreach, has pledged to satisfy the ‘bottom third’ of the UK with fiber-to-premises broadband (FTTP), commonly referred to as ‘full fiber’ .
The announcement follows a recent consultation with Ofcom, during which new plans were made to ensure that Openreach can deliver ultra-reliable, gigabit-capable broadband to the toughest homes and businesses in the world. country access.
This is the last step in a nationwide operation, pushed by the government, to serve all UK premises with FTTP by the end of the 2020s – an investment that aims to boost the country’s economic output and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Openreach, which is owned by the BT Group but now operates independently, estimates that these “hard to reach” areas will be fully served by 2026, and has released a comprehensive list of all the locations this project aims to connect.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “This year we have all seen the importance of having a decent broadband connection and at Openreach we are convinced that Full Fiber technology can support the UK’s economic recovery.
“Right now, we are building a new ultra-reliable all-fiber network that will increase productivity, reduce travel and carbon emissions, and connect our families, our utilities and our businesses for decades to come. These are Ofcom’s proposals that give us the right conditions to build commercially in the most difficult to access areas.
“We are committed to finding inventive engineering solutions and effective partnership funding models to reduce costs and enable us to connect as many communities as possible across the UK without public funding. “
Which areas are included in the full fiber deployment?
Openreach has listed 251 market towns and villages in the UK’s ‘bottom third’ that will at least be primarily served by the mid-2020s, as part of its larger Fiber First program. Check if your postal code is covered by the system by searching its full fiber availability page.
It should be borne in mind that just because Openreach is building all-fiber infrastructure across the country, doesn’t mean other FTTP providers are already building – or have already built – all-fiber infrastructure in your region. . And in just 15% of UK households its nationwide coverage is still quite low, so it may be some time before it becomes available.
Try our network checker to see what broadband speeds you can access your home, rather than just your region. It will show you the different types of broadband that are available to you at the moment.
How fast is FTTP broadband?
Broadband fiber to the premises is the technical term for “full fiber”. It is the fastest type of broadband currently available and gets its name from the type of connection it uses.
Most homes in the UK use either ADSL or Fiber-to-Cabinet Broadband (FTTC), both of which rely on copper telephone lines to make some or all of the connection. Average broadband speeds are 11 Mbps over ADSL and 50 Mbps over FTTC.
Broadband fiber optic cables can transmit much more data than copper wires, so there is a huge difference in speed when the entire connection is served by fiber. FTTP broadband connects fiber optic cables directly to your property, which can provide you with super-fast speeds ranging from 100 Mbps up to gigabit speeds of 1 Gbps (equivalent to 1000 Mbps).
This would likely sustain broadband demands from almost every property in the UK for decades to come.
The lasting impact of full fiber
FTTP broadband is here to stay. This is a huge improvement over all existing broadband technologies, and its deployment alongside 5G is expected to bring unprecedented internet speeds that will cover our needs for a very long time to come.
But there are also a lot of additional benefits to this level of broadband speed. Not only do Openreach, Ofcom and the government believe nationwide fiber optics would increase UK productivity by £ 59bn every year, the impact it will have on working from home could help improve society as a whole.
As millions of us would have known in March, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed forced a huge proportion of the UK workforce to work from home, and as a result , companies are reassessing the need for mandatory office attendance once things return to normal.
This change in habit will go a long way towards the benefits of all-fiber broadband nationwide. Openreach said this could mean that:
- Half a million workers with dependents or heavy responsibilities, such as parents or caregivers, could return to work sooner thanks to increased connectivity at home.
- At least 400,000 additional workers will be able to do their work from home, reducing the pressure for them to move to urban centers.
- 270,000 people could end up actively leaving urban centers to work from home in more rural areas, helping to bridge the economic gap between cities and regional areas.
- The above changes could save 300 million commute to work trips to the office each year, resulting in a potential annual reduction of 360,000 tonnes of CO2, especially when car trips are taken into account.
Don’t let that stop you from changing
While it may seem tempting to wait until full fiber is available in your area, you shouldn’t just keep your current deal until it is. Such ambitious operations often come with some delays, and the deadline for national coverage is still several years away.
Most broadband contracts last 12-24 months, so chances are you can always upgrade to a better deal at least twice before FTTP finally hits you, and at the same time you avoid expensive off-contract prices. .
Whether you are looking for a cheaper broadband plan, faster speeds, or just better service, we have a wide range of offers to suit your needs. Compare broadband offers with Uswitch.