Ofcom paves the way for full-fibre broadband to more homes

Laying fibre will be cheaper, which will hopefully mean cheap broadband deals

Ofcom has announced new plans that will cut the cost of installing full-fibre broadband by up to half. This means that the current 3% nationwide coverage of full-fibre could be rolled out to 20% of the UK's homes as soon as 2020.

Full-fibre networks offer a faster, more reliable internet connection – meaning a line with up to a hefty 1Gb per second capacity. At the moment, Virgin Media broadband is the only mainstream provider to offer this service, with speeds of up to 300Mb.

The current limitation is how many home have access to the faster speeds. Ofcom’s boost means that network providers will be able to install fibre in the tunnels and on the telegraph poles of BT’s Openreach, giving a much broader availability. Openreach will also be responsible for upkeep and maintenance.

Cutting the costs of broadband deals

All this means that laying fibre could be half as expensive - from around £500 per home down to £250. Since the digging of holes isn’t needed, it can also mean far faster installations where a previous multi-day job will be reduced to just hours.

"Not only should this mean faster broadband for a greater number of customers, but in the long term we'd hope that it would have a positive impact on prices, too," said Adam Marshall, TechRadar's Phone Deals Editor. "We would hope that the fibre laying savings would eventually be passed on to home broadband customers".

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.