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9th Aug 2017


Openreach launches fibre consultation.

BT’s network division wants to identify the level of demand and predicts 10 million homes by 2025.

Openreach launched its highly-anticipated consultation that eyes-up demand for full fibre networks. The consultation was discussed at Connected Britain last month and it informs the BT-owned infrastructure provider’s strategy when it comes to FTTP – this could pave the way for a widespread deployment.

“With the right conditions we believe we could make FTTP available to as many as 10 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s, but we need to understand if there’s sufficient demand to justify the roll-out, and support for the enablers needed to build a viable business case,” said Openreach CEO Clive Selley.

These “enablers” include greater collaboration, risk and cost-sharing models, mass customer migration to the new network, lowering logistical barriers and spreading the cost of an FTTP investment and legal regulatory frameworks. Clive Selley added,

“The engineering, commercial and operational challenges are significant, but I believe that greater collaboration across the industry will help us to overcome them and build more fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure.”

Following a market review, Ofcom concluded that Openreach still had an incentive to favour the UK incumbent despite being required to treat all retail service providers equally. As well as pressure from the regulator, Openreach also faces mounting pressure from altnets that are cherry-picking markets and rolling out FTTP networks. One such altnet, CityFibre, recently announced their plans to raise £200m to fund the expansion of its full fibre footprint to further locations and into the residential market.