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Openreach in MDU Pilot as FTTP Rollout in Salford Tops 45K Premises

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 (11:22 am) - Score 1,713
indoor fibre optic splice openreach

Openreach (BT) has announced that more than 45,000 premises in Salford (Greater Manchester) can now access their Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network, which has been deployed as part of their work to cover 4 million premises by March 2021 and possibly 15 million by around 2025.

Interestingly the network operator’s announcement states that they “began work to build a new ‘full fibre’ network in February last year,” although this is a little bit confusing since Salford was only officially listed on their forwarding looking commercial rollout plan in late January 2019 (here). We suspect they mean Manchester in general, which was listed in February 2018 (here).

The operator has also been using Salford as part of a new pilot project, which they say aims to help speed-up the delivery of FTTP technology and simplify the way ultrafast broadband is installed in Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs), such as large apartment blocks (buildings), while also minimising disruption to residents. Sadly the announcement contains no details on this pilot and we will update once we have that.

Catherine Colloms, Openreach’s MD of Corporate Affairs, said:

“Salford already has a thriving digital economy with widespread access to highspeed broadband – with around 97 per cent of premises already able to access superfast speeds. A huge of amount of work is currently taking place to take this to the next level, bringing people living and working in Salford an ultrafast network and an even bigger boost to broadband speeds.”

On top of that Openreach’s engineers were also able to showcase the operator’s first social housing MDU to be upgraded with FTTP in the UK as part of their roll-out. Apparently “thousands” more MDUs are now expected to be upgraded by Openreach across the United Kingdom, which may give some competition to Hyperoptic and Community Fibre that are already tackling many similar homes.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar chris conder

    just goes to show what we all said in 2008, competition is King, and if the funding had gone to Hyperoptic and community fibre altnets in the first place instead of obsolete superfarce cabinets we would be a lot better off.

    • The catch on that one is Hyperoptic and Community Fibre swim in dense urban areas, which are not generally eligible for state aid and they never bid for anything under BDUK (exceptions are the Gigabit vouchers but that’s a different scheme, not state aid). A better example might be Gigaclear, but as a smaller ISP they recently demonstrated the difficulties of having to rapidly scale-up.

    • Avatar Fastman

      article about fTTP and still Superfarce gets mentioned — id be a rich man for every time that phase has been used by the poster – I assume its a mandatory phrase regardless of the subject matter

      Openreach (BT) has announced that more than 45,000 premises in Salford (Greater Manchester) can now access their Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network, which has been deployed as part of their work to cover 4 million premises by March 2021 and possibly 15 million by around 2025.

  2. Avatar TheFacts

    @CC – as I am sure you have been told many times the FTTC solution gave millions significant speeds. For the same spend how many FTTP properties would have been covered and in what timescales?

    Managing a large diverse set of community projects across the UK would have been ‘difficult’.

    Hyperoptic – Incorporated on 13 April 2010, didn’t exist in 2008!

    • Avatar A_Builder

      That is sort of part of true.

      FTTP could and should have been rolled with more vigour – BT’s original plans accepted this but then the FTTP element was shelved.

      BT/OR were then ultra slow to do any meaningful FTTP discovering that mysteriously costs fell when they got some experience.

      In the mean time OR handed HyperOptic et al MDU’s on a plate while whining that FTTP was too expensive/no demand whilst simultaneously waving the begging bowl around. It was not an impressive act to watch.

      I’d close by observing that not all FTTP is equal. In our business we have a number of locations with services from all and sundry. Some 100/100 performs more impressively than 1G/1G: headline speed is not all – what is going on behind the curtain is very important too.

  3. Avatar Fastman

    interesting comment about hyper optic — not always the case

    just ask Rahul !!!!!

  4. Avatar FTTPhopeful

    I am one of the properties in Salford that have just had my FTTP activated, but it seems that the only company i can take a package with is BT (no surprise), who want £49.99 for 300mb.

    Considering the 300mb wholesale price of FTTP has just dropped from openreach (by 33%) this month should i expect the price to lower and also in the hope that other operators will then be offering some too, which would/should increase competition.

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