Openreach said its engineers were installing about 800 metres of cable every minute and passing more than 50,000 new homes and businesses every week. The end result was that it was confident of being on track to reach 25 million premises in the UK by December 2026.
It added that it was now handling about 35,000 new orders every week, with more than 1.5 million homes and businesses already connected to its full-fibre network to gain gigabit broadband connectivity.
The network additions are in 36 locations covering both rural and urban areas, including Accrington, Lancashire; Boldon, Tyne & Wear; Dudley, West Midlands; Hornchurch, Greater London; Kemptown, Brighton; Manningham, West Yorkshire; and West Houghton, Greater Manchester. This means that overall, more than 2,700 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are now included in Openreach’s build programme.
More than 40 UK communication providers, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, have now signed up to Openreach’s long-term wholesale full-fibre pricing offer, known as Equinox, launched in October 2021.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “This is a life-changing technology and we are delighted to be adding more towns and villages to our build programme today. More than seven million homes can now connect to our full-fibre network, which is a fantastic achievement. We’ve come a long way – it took eight years for us to pass our first million premises, but only four months to pass our latest million.”
Openreach has recently called it quits on flogging legacy analogue phone services, giving notice on a further 46 exchanges covering more than 380,000 premises where it is building full-fibre, to encourage the adoption of new digital services.
Selley said: “We believe that full-fibre is the future for the UK and that’s why we want to deliver full-fibre broadband to 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026. The shift from copper to fibre will be every bit as significant as the move from analogue to digital and black and white TV to colour.
“By eventually retiring analogue phone lines, we will be creating a simplified network that allows us to meet the enhanced needs of an increasingly digital society.”