BT’s Openreach plans to connect three million premises to full fibre by 2020


BT have announced further plans to start connecting full fibre to three million premises under the fibre first programme at the beginning of April.

Openreach stated in an announcement that 800,000 rural and new build developments will be fibre ready by 2020 with an additional 1.7 million receiving it through the city building programme.

With a current two per cent fibre deployment penetration, the UK ranks as one of the worst countries in the world in fibre connectivity.

They will hire 3,000 engineers to implement the changes to eight major cities across the UK including Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Speaking with The Register BT Openreach’s CEO Clive Selley has declined to put a precise figure on the programme, its reported to be between £3bn and £6bn according to The Register.

Clive added: “building a large-scale network is still a huge commercial, technical and logistical challenge that’s going to need real ingenuity, flexibility and coordination across government and industry.”

The wholesaler aims to recuperate the investment by transferring new customers fibre and turning off the outdated copper network. Service providers will have to pay increased rental costs, and this could potentially hike consumer bills up £7 per month.

But Selley suggested in the announcement that a move to fibre will also result in operational cost reductions, stating that the communications providers: “will have less fault calls and complaints, so their cost of ownership will reduce.”