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Openreach FTTP Broadband Build in Bristol Hits 80,000 Premises

Monday, November 25th, 2019 (4:44 pm) - Score 2,307

Openreach (BT) has announced that, after 12 months of building, their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network in the UK city of Bristol has now extended its coverage to 80,000 local premises (40% of the city) and rising. Sadly they don’t say how much further they intend to go.

So far the new network has already been built across big parts of Bedminster, Bishopsworth, North Bristol, West Bristol, Easton, Filton and Whitchurch. In the “coming months“, work will also reach Fishponds and Redcliffe.

The work forms part of their on-going Fibre First strategy, which currently aims to cover 4 million premises (homes and businesses) by March 2021 and then there’s an ambition for 15 million by around 2025 (possibly costing upwards of £5bn). At present they’ve already built to cover a total of 1.8 million premises (here) and are passing a further c.23,000 UK homes and businesses every week.

Sadly Openreach doesn’t say how much they’re investing into the deployment in Bristol, although we know that most of their urban builds thus far have been done at the lower end of their £300 – £400 per premises passed cost range. Taking the middle value, we’d say 80,000 would have cost them a total of around £28m.

James Tappenden, Director of Openreach Fibre First, said:

“Recent research shows that connecting everyone in Bristol and in the South West to ‘full fibre’ broadband would create a £4.3 billion boost to the region’s economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

Our new network will also help to support Bristol’s Smart City Strategy and its pillar of achieving ‘world class connectivity’, as well as underpinning the council’s One City Vision of Connectivity – which includes the aim of removing the obstacles and barriers to people connecting.”

As you’d expect Openreach does have competition in the local market where their chief competitor is Virgin Media, which has a soon-to-be 1Gbps capable cable and full fibre network that stretches across the majority of Bristol. Smaller ISPs, such as Spectrum Internet, have also built a little FTTP of their own (here) and Cityfibre’s tentative future roll-out strategy still lists Bristol as a target city for their own FTTH with Vodafone UK (albeit not yet confirmed on their current rollout).

Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris I feel the need for speed Sayers

    We are on VM, the Openreach map for our area suggests we will get full fibre, if we do, I’m ditching VM, why because of the downright shoddy upload speeds.

  2. Avatar Jake4

    Won’t be surprised if South Glos (Actual North Bristol area) gets covered with FTTP from Cityfibre since there’s a ton of Dark fibre up there and there are no plans for Openreach or any other FTTP to rollout up there.

    • Avatar The Facts

      Lot of Virgin Media there.

    • Avatar SadSurfer

      I can only get a maximum of 80/20 through the phone line as I live in a “new” building which is only covered by the phone line. No plans for G.fast or FTTP for my cabinet, no Virgin Media either. My only hope is 5G home broadband. This is on Filton Avenue, close to the “border” with South Glos.

    • Avatar David

      1000/220 in Severn Beach which is edge of South Glos – well the section towards the M4 – so they are moving around – they installed the OH lines about 3 years ago however and it’s only been available about 3 months.

    • Avatar Jake4

      That’s funded from BDUK’s recent phase 3 rollout in South Glos. Here’s a map of the current rollout https://map.vg/old/ (90%~ FTTP)

    • Avatar Matt

      I have FTTP in my house in South Glos – downside is that the only suppliers are Zen or BT who seem expensive in comparison to others when you take into account “New Customer” prices

  3. Avatar chris conder

    80,000 premises passed? or connected to a physical fibre?

    • Avatar CarlT

      Passed. The grown-ups measure addressable premises in terms of number of premises passed. Number of premises connected is a different metric entirely.

      Unless forcing people to take the service against their will the number connected isn’t a great guide to the number that may connect, especially in areas where there’s strong competition in terms of price and variety of services.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Connection block at a DP. This damascene conversion needs encouraging. The cost recovery on copper suggests final drops have a life span of 10 years, not reflected in actuality but that’s the assumption; so the business case in urban should be lot about re-assigning copper capex and engineering opex for copper to fibre.

      Good progress, and sunset dates for copper can be granted when industry is ready to support it but a consultation on the matter would be welcome.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Discussions are in progress on copper removal and have been for a while, however The BitCommons and indeed us mere mortals have not been asked our thoughts.

      Capital expenditure has been switched to fibre and continues to move in that direction. A switch can’t simply be flicked however under the circumstances Openreach are doing pretty well.

      More evidence of demand for it if it’s so needed would be good. The uptake in Fibre First areas is weak to say the least.

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