Openreach says it has connected seven million homes to full fibre

Clive Selley
(Image credit: Openreach)

Openreach has revealed it is now more than a quarter of the way to achieving its target of covering 25 million homes and businesses to full fibre infrastructure by 2026.

The BT-owned company has now connected more than seven million premises to its next generation network and is passing 50,000 properties every single week, laying an estimated 800 metres worth of cable every minute.

The Openreach network is the largest in the UK and is used not just by parent company BT to deliver its services, but also by other broadband providers including Sky, TalkTalk, and Vodafone, and by mobile operators who require backhaul for their masts.

Openreach fibre 

Openreach is one of several firms building full fibre infrastructure, including CityFibre and Virgin Media.

Thirty-six new locations that will be covered as part of the rollout have also been detailed, as have 46 further exchanges where Openreach will no longer sell copper-based services to its communications provider partners. This rings the total number of exchanges to 600.

“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,” said Clive Selley, Openreach chief executive. “We’re the UK’s leading network builder - going further and faster than all our competitors put together, and we’re still getting faster and building further every week, every quarter.

“Tthat’s important because it signals to the markets that we’re delivering what we promised. This is a life-changing technology and we’re delighted to be adding more towns and villages to our build programme today.

“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 which allows us to meet the enhanced needs of an increasingly digital society.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.