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Thursday, 21 November

Getting Gfast To Bristol

Getting Gfast To Bristol

Bristol will be one of the first cities to benefit from proposals by Openreach for a major acceleration of its ultrafast fibre broadband network assisted by Gfast technology.

 

Openreach, Britain’s national broadband infrastructure provider, has announced proposals to extend by 50 per cent its target for rolling out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) to reach 3 million premises across the UK by the end of 2020 through a new ‘Fibre First’ programme.

Eight major cities - Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester - make up the first phase of Openreach’s Fibre First programme which will connect up to 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs with FTTP networks, with build starting in 2018.

It is expected that tens of thousands of Bristol homes and businesses will benefit from this latest multi million pound expansion. Further details of the roll-out in the city are expected to be announced later in the year. According to independent website thinkbroadband, more than 97 per cent of Bristol households and businesses already have access to superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above.

Openreach will also continue to focus on delivering FTTP to rural areas, in partnership with the Government, to make sure some of the hardest to reach communities in the UK get access to future-proofed, FTTP networks.

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “Through the Fibre First programme, Openreach is getting on with the job of building an Ultrafast Britain. We are accelerating our plans to build FTTP to three million premises by 2020 which sets the course to reach ten million by the mid-2020s with the right conditions. Where possible going forward, we will ‘fibre first’.

“Working closely with central and local government and our communication provider customers, we will identify the cities, towns and rural areas where we can build a future-proofed, FTTP network that’s capable of delivering gigabit speeds to all homes and businesses at an affordable cost.

“We’ll continue to invest in our people and we’re already in the process of re-training and upskilling to make Fibre First a reality. We plan to hire around 3,000 engineers in 2018/19 to kick-start Fibre First and further improve the reliability and performance of our existing networks.”

Reaching three million premises by 2020 sets Openreach on the right trajectory to achieve its ambition of building a ten million FTTP footprint by the mid-2020s and, if the conditions are right, to go significantly beyond, bringing the benefits of FTTP to the majority homes and businesses across the UK.

 

Gfast

Gfast remains a critical component of Openreach’s ultrafast strategy and an important platform that will be deployed at scale in the UK to millions of premises. Gfast allows Openreach to deliver ultrafast speeds over existing copper lines. It builds on existing Openreach networks, so it is quick to deploy with minimal disruption and at relatively low cost. Openreach remains committed to rolling out Gfast at speed. Openreach will employ a Fibre First ethos and will not build Gfast and FTTP to the same locations.

An initial consultation by Openreach, which was open to all CPs and concluded in autumn 2017, found there was broad support for Openreach to start building a large-scale FTTP network in the UK. The consultation also helped Openreach to identify a set of enablers needed to underpin a viable commercial business case.The enablers remain important for the first wave of FTTP investment to be successful, and critical for Openreach to sustain a high rate of build into the mid-2020s and reach its ambition of 10m premises.

Picture: Gfast allows Openreach to deliver ultrafast speeds over existing copper lines

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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