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Openreach proposes trials to speed up broadband upgrades across the UK

Paul Lipscombe
June 20, 2019

Openreach is aiming to reach four million FTTP by 2021 

Openreach has kicked-off proposals to help the broadband industry to upgrade faster with two trials in Salisbury and Mildenhall. 

The trials are aimed at preparing the UK for the future nationwide upgrade to full fibre and “All-IP” technologies.

It comes as Openreach works alongside the UK’s communications providers (CPs) to withdraw ageing telephone and broadband infrastructure. 

Openreach passed 1.2 million FTTP (Fibre-to-the-premises) connections in April across the UK, with ambitions to reach four million by the end of March 2021. 

Alongside other CPs including BT, Sky and TalkTalk, Openreach is consulting its customers to ensure a smooth transition to the new FTTP network. 

There will be a consultation on July 31 to confirm the details about the trials, including the timescale, with a view to launch in October later this year. 

Openreach chief strategy officer Richard Allwood said: “These trials are the natural next step on our journey to help the Government deliver a future proofed, fully fibred UK.

“We’re going to continue working closely and openly across the industry and we’re determined to make the upgrade to FTTP as smooth and seamless and beneficial as possible for every customer.” 

The trial in Wiltshire will focus on Salisbury becoming the first UK city to gain universal access to Openreachs’ FTTP network and trial its ‘FTTP Exchange Upgrade’ processes. 

While the trial in Mildenhall is planned to transition the area from analogue telephony to digital voice services. 

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