Openreach has announced that full fibre has come to the city of Coventry as well as adding 600,000 new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections.
The announcement came during last week’s Conservative Party conference, with Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands stating, ‘the fibre announced today will also support our ambition to be the first 5G region in the UK’.
Coventry now joins ten other areas across the UK to gain from Openreach’s full-fibre program, which will initially connect up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs, as part of a larger strategy to reach three million homes by 2020.
We are making significant progress in the West Midlands as we get on with building the infrastructure Britain needs to stay ahead in the global digital economy. I’m delighted to announce that families and businesses in Coventry will soon be among the first in the UK to benefit from this commitment.
Our engineers have so far built full fibre broadband technology to more than 600,000 premises and are already working in nearby Birmingham, which was one of the first ‘fibre cities’ announced earlier this year.
Despite the challenges of planning, street works and permissions, we’re reaching thousands of homes each week and we’re on track for our ambition of reaching 10 million premises by the mid-2020s.- Clive Selley: Chief Executive, Openreach
According to Openreach the FTTP deployment is now available to, ‘tens of thousands’ of domestic and commercial buildings across Coventry, with the Radford area being the first to receive a working deployment.
Openreach heads the government’s ambitious plans to install 15 million full-fibre connections by 2025. Billions of taxpayers’ money has been invested, primarily through Openreach after it had split away from, one-time state-owned parent company BT.
The split followed a two-year dispute with Ofcom and this week Openreach announced it had completed the Ofcom-mandated transfer of 31,000 BT employees to the company.
The government has attempted to have a hands-off policy, instead hoping to create, ‘the conditions for the market to deliver’. This includes the highly ambitious stated aim of installing two million connections per year for the next seven years. So far, this year there have been just over one million such connections.
The National Infrastructure Commission has also ear-marked 2025 as the end-point of scrapping Britain’s entire copper phone network.
While Openreach said that it had now reached 600,000 connections by April, smaller competitors, such as Hyperoptic, CityFibre and Gigaclear have impressively managed to create a million full-fibre connections.