Openreach: Fiber-optic network now passes 25 million UK premises

Openreach, the local infrastructure business unit of BT, says that its open, wholesale fiber-optic network now passes 25 million premises.

Openreach, the local infrastructure business unit of BT, says that its open, wholesale fiber-optic network now passes 25 million premises.

Openreach began construction of the fiber-optic broadband network in July 2009. Since then, the business unit says its engineers have upgraded more than 4,700 telephone exchanges and installed tens of thousands of street cabinets. BT has paid for the majority of the work, although approximately 4 million of the 25 million premises have been reached via the Government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) program. Openreach says the BDUK program is on track and under budget in its quest to provide 95 percent of UK premises with access to superfast broadband by the end of next year.

Openreach also has a stated goal to deliver "ultrafast" broadband to 10 million premises by 2020, and to the majority of the UK within a decade. It says it will use a combination of G.fast and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) to achieve this aim.

The group has launched FTTP trails, including a pair in Bradford, to test methods of installing fiber more quickly and efficiently in business parks and high streets (see "Openreach plans new FTTP, G.fast trials"). Success of the trials could lead to a new gigabit offering for small businesses, Openreach says.

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