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Openreach Add 227 Rural UK Areas to FTTP Broadband Rollout UPDATE

Sunday, Jan 26th, 2020 (9:33 am) - Score 45,383
diamond cutter rural fttp openreach

Network provider Openreach (BT) has announced that 227 new UK locations – 250,000 premises – are being added to the roll-out phase of their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP technology, which this time appears to focus on some of the “harder to reach” villages, market towns and rural areas.

At present the operator’s Fibre First project has already helped cover over 2 million premises and they’re building FTTP at a rate of c.26,000 premises per week (up from 13,000 a year ago), which is forecast to reach 30,000 per week when they exit the 2019/20 period. All of this forms part of their target to cover 4 million UK homes and businesses by March 2021, followed by an ambition for 15 million by around 2025 and then beyond. By our estimate reaching 15 million premises could cost Openreach c.£5.25bn.

Most of this “full fibre” build is still being delivered at the “lower end” of their £300 – £400 per premises passed cost range and going forward they expect to “pass around 50% of UK premises within this range of costs.” But deployment costs rise disproportionately the further you go outside of lucrative urban areas, which at an extreme could reach up to c.£4,000 per premises (here) and that is a big roadblock for commercial build.

The above has a lot of relevance since many of the new locations set to be announced are also some of the hardest and most expensive to reach (albeit perhaps not to the dizzy heights of £4k). Openreach has recently been conducting a pilot scheme in 13 rural villages and towns (here), which covered 50,000 premises and aimed to reduce the cost of such work. The operator is now putting some of that effort to good use.

NOTE: The pilot tested remote FTTP nodes (Mini OLT) in street cabinets, ditch witch, micro ducting, ground penetrating radar, diamond cutters (trench digging), mobile planning (Orion) and GeoRipper (used for digging trenches across soft ground at pace).

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said:

“Our full fibre build programme is going great guns – having passed over 2 million premises already on the way to our 4m target by March 2021. We’re now building at around 26,000 premises a week in over 100 locations – reaching a new home or business every 23 seconds That’s up from 13,000 premises a week this time last year.

Openreach has always been committed to doing our bit in rural Britain – delivering network upgrades in communities that are harder to reach and less densely populated. We intend to build a significant portion of our full-fibre network in these harder to reach areas of the UK and are announcing 227 locations today.

Our ambition is to reach 15 million premises by mid-2020s if right investment conditions are in place. Currently, the biggest missing piece of this puzzle is getting an exemption from business rates on building fibre cables which is critical for any fibre builder’s long-term investment case.”

Some of the 227 locations – covering 250,000 premises in total – expected to benefit from this announcement include Aberdare and Camarthen (South Wales), Beaminster (Dorset), Buckfastleigh and Budleigh Salterton (Devon), Clitheroe (Lancashire), Ely (Cambridgeshire), East Grinstead (Surrey), Liskeard (Cornwall) and Shaftesbury (Dorset). Not places we’d usually expect to see being connected to Openreach’s FTTP at this early stage.

The build for these areas is apparently due to begin “beforeMarch 2021, which means they’ll contribute toward Openreach’s existing 4 million premises target. What’s less clear is how much of each area will actually be covered by their FTTP, since it’s not uncommon for operators to only cover part of the locations they announce rather than 100% (this doesn’t prevent a later return for more infill build).

Ofcom’s recent proposal to relax some of their regulation will no doubt help to support all of this (here) but some obstacles, like the Fibre Tax, remain and most operators would like to see the Government tackle that one. At present there’s a 5 year holiday on business rates for new fibre but operators need to plan build and payback for 15-20 years ahead.

NOTE: Scotland has introduced a 10 year holiday on business rates for new fibre (here).

We should remind readers that this predominantly reflects Openreach’s purely commercial investment, which for the time being remains largely focused upon the most lucrative areas (cities, big towns and large villages). Separately they’re also still rolling out some FTTP into remote rural areas via the Building Digital UK (BDUK) linked state aid schemes.

All of this will no doubt help the Government to achieve their ambition of deploying “gigabit-capable” broadband networks to cover the whole of the United Kingdom by around 2025 (here), which we should say will also involve input from many alternative network ISPs. Nevertheless today’s news could be seen as Openreach making a clear case for some of that £5bn being offered by the Government.

At present the top fastest consumer (residential) focused FTTP tier on Openreach’s network is 330Mbps (50Mbps upload), although the more affordable 550Mbps and 1000Mbps tiers (currently these are only options for business users) are set to be introduced for homes from 23rd March 2020 (here). Sadly we don’t yet know which ISPs will offer these but check out our Summary of Openreach FTTP ISP choices for ideas.

Openreach are expected to issue a press release and list of all the locations tomorrow morning. However it looks like the Telegraph got an exclusive, thus we’re summarising the locations from their article above. We will naturally update this article to include the full list tomorrow.

UPDATE 27th Jan – 6:41am

We’ve added the locations below and some extra details above from the official press release. Openreach also announced that more than 120,000 homes and businesses across the UK have also signed up to their Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) scheme (co-funded deployments of FTTP with communities).

Openreach’s 227 Rural / Semi-Rural FTTP Locations

Exchange Locations
Aberdare Aberdare, Cwmbach, Abernant, Llwydcoed
Alton Alton, Holybourne, Chawton, Shaldon
Anstruther Anstruther, Cellardyke, Pittenweem
Attleborough Attleborough, Besthorpe, Great Ellingham
Beaminster Beaminster
Betchworth Brockham, Betchworth, Box Hill
Bidford On Avon Bidford on Avon
Billingshurst Billinghurst
Bordon Bordon, Kingsley
Borough Green Borough Green, Wrotham, Ightham, Platt
Brinscall Brinscall, Abbey Village, Wheelton, Withnell
Brixham  Brixham, Higher Brixham, Copythorne, Furzeham
Buckfastleigh Buckfastleigh
Budleigh Salterton Budleigh Salterton, Knowle
Bungay Bungay, Earsham, Ditchingham
Burnham On Crouch  Burnham on Crouch
Burry Port  Burry Port, Pembrey
Burscough Burscough
Caergwrle Caerwrie, Cefn-Y-Bedd, Hope
Camelford Camelford
Carmarthen Camarthen, Abergwili, Bronwydd, Cwmffrwd, Idole, Croesyceiliog
Cheddar Cheddar, Draycott Park
Chester South  Chester South
Chudleigh  Chudleigh
Clitheroe West Bradford, Waddington, Clitheroe, Pendleton
Colaton Raleigh Colaton Raleigh, Newton Poppleford
Coleshill Coleshill
Congleton  Congleton
Cowes Cowes, East Cowes, Osborne, Northwood
Crook Crook, Howden-Le-Wear
Cross Hands Cross Hands, Penygroes, Tumbe, Cefneithin, Carmel, Llannon, Drefach, Capel Hendre, Cwmgwili
Croston Croston
Cranfield Cranfield
Culcheth Culcheth, Croft
Deal  Deal, Kingsdown, Ripple, Ringwould
Denbigh Denbigh, Henllan
Dereham Dereham, Toftwood
Downham Market Downham Market
East Grinstead  East Grinstead, Felbridge, Saint Hill Green
Eccleston  Eccleston
Ely Ely
Faversham Faversham, Sheldwich, Painters Forstal, Davington
Findhorn  Findhorn, Kinloss
Fleetwood  Fleetwood
Flint Flint
Flockton Flockton
Forest Row Forest Row
Frodsham Frodsham, Overton, Netherton
Garstang Garstang, Calder Vale
Gillingham Gillingham
Glinton  Glinton, Helpston
Great Eccleston Great Eccleston, Elswick
Hailsham Hailsam, Horsebridge, Lower Dicker, Upper Dicker
Hambleton  Hambleton
Hawkhurst  Hawkhurst
Henley In Arden Henley In Arden, Wootton Wawen
Hesketh Bank  Hesketh Bank
Holywell Holywell, Carmel, Brynford, Gorsedd
Hornsea Hornsea, Atwick
Kelso Kelso, Maxwellheugh, Sprouston
Kentford  Kentford
Kirkburton Kirkburton
Knott End Knott End-On-Sea, Preesall
Lapworth Lapworth, Hockley Heath
Latchingdon  Latchingdon, Althorne
Lingfield Lingfield
Liskeard  Liskeard, St Keyne, St Cleer, Menheniot
Longridge  Longridge
Lundin Links Lundin Links
Lymm Lymm, Booths Hill, Heatley, Oughtrington, Reddish
Melbourne  Melbourne, Breedon on the Hill
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil, Cefn-Coed-Cymer, Pontsticill
Mickle Trafford Mickle Trafford
Middlewich Middlewich
Minster Sheppey Minster
Mostyn  Mostyn, Berthengam, Ffynongroyw, Pen-y-fford
Nazeing  Nazeing, Bumble’s Green
Neston Neston
North Weald North Weald, Colliers Hatch, Cutlers Green
Okehampton Okehampton
Olney Olney, Weston Underwood, Lavendon, Emberton, Clifton Reynes
Ottery St Mary  Ottery St Mary
Parbold  Parbold
Penn Penn
Pontardulais  Pontardulais, Llanedi, Yr Hendy
Prestatyn Prestatyn, Gronant
Rufford Rufford, Mawdesley
Sandiway  Sandiway, Cuddington, Delamere Park
Sandwich  Sandwich, Eastry, Worth
Saxmundham  Saxmundham
Seal  Seal
Sevenoaks Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks Weald
Shaftesbury Shaftesbury, Motcombe
Sheering Sheering
Sheerness Sheerness, Queenborough
Shefford Shefford, Clifton, Henlow
Southminster  Southminster, Steeple, Asheldham
Stone  Stone, Little Stoke, Walton
Stonehouse  Stonehouse
Stratton On The Fosse Stratton on the Fosse
Tadcaster  Tadcaster
Tarporley  Tarporley
Tarvin Tarvin
Tavistock Tavistock, Lamerton
Tenterden  Tenterden, St Michael’s
Tiverton Tiverton
Verwood Verwood 
Wateringbury Wateringbury
Watton  Watton
Wentworth Wentworth, Virginia Water, Trumpsgreen
West Calder  West Calder
West Kingsdown West Kingsdown, Knockmill
Winsford  Winsford
Winterton Winterton, Winteringham
Withernsea  Withernsea
Wrington  Wrington
Wymondham Wymondham
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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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107 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Mr positive says:

    Fantastic news. O/R are becoming a credit to the nation, all be it a little delayed. Long may they continue. This country needs more of this type of stuff for the potential dark days ahead.

    1. Avatar photo Chas says:

      Or you joking

    2. Avatar photo Dr Ken says:

      We are all praising Openreach but at the end of the day its BT who hold the purse strings. Openreach dont make decisions like this off of there own back. Either way its very good news.

    3. Avatar photo Gadget says:

      my understanding is that as part of the Ofcom initiative Openreach was specifically tasked with “making decisions like this” on their own after consultation with the whole industry. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2017/openreach-statement

    4. Avatar photo Anonymous Openreach Bod says:

      I think those of us in areas with no announcement dont consider them that much of a credit.

      They did FTTC a decade too late, and my area (a city) only got it after the MP pressed them.

      Now I feel my area will only see openreach FTTP with political pressure.

      Also people still stuck on flawed ECI dslams, because openreach wont spend the £170 per cabinet it costs to replace with a huawei card.

      The country seems to have the same problem it had back with FTTC.

      The biggest cities get picked, the villages get picked (because political will wants them to have it), but the smaller cities and some towns miss out because they not the best cities, and they too big for community/state funding.

  2. Avatar photo Michael V says:

    Well this is positive. News we’ve all been waiting for. Good to see OpenReach making more of an effort on those really hard to reach places that have been forgotten about.
    FWA may also be a good option for some islands off the British main land. [Fixed Wireless Access]

    Boris’ 2025 plan is not a realistic one at all. ISPs can only do so much given a time frame.

    1. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      I agree that 2025 is not possible for 100% FTTP but it is possible to do a lot by 2025 and a lot is being done.

      There is political will across the spectrum to get this done – nobody in the election was saying FTTP = bad everyone was saying FTTP = necessary for the nation.

      However, with OR doing some good work at pace and the Alt Nets also working hard there is increasingly good FTTP coverage around the UK and this is very positive for SME’s and home users.

      If VM join the wholesale party and also speed up their upgrades to full 3.1 then things are less silly in terms of real world coverage attained.

      I do think that **properly engineered** FWA has a role to play in remote locations. However the old lash ups of dishes on poles that need realigned when the wind blows are no kind of a solution and will waste resources and time.

      I’m always a bit suspicious when someone form BT/OR starts talking about other technologies and for some reason have flashbacks to LRVDSL, GFAST and other cuprous dead ends. I hope this is not the softening and watering down of ambition.

      With all that said if it is a conversation about using microwave backhaul and then using FTTP to deliver connectivity to the home then that makes a bit more sense – and we have seen examples of that methodology or reverse methodology on this site before. Whatever the solution it has to be highly robust and to be a stepping stone to even higher speeds of connectivity.

  3. Avatar photo FTTP says:

    HS2 should be scrapping by Boris and use this money for Full Fibre UK instead

    1. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying that it will cost anything like the cost of HS2 to run full fibre to the UK.

      The old, and discredited BT cost, was £25Bn.

      The reality is that only the non commercial bits need to be funded. So that *might* mean a bit on top of the £5Bn that Boris has already promised at worst case this will need another £5Bn of public money so for a fully national benefit the cost is 10% of the budget for HS2.

      Whilst I do think we need more rail capacity urgently, to keep the economy moving, we do also need better comms connectivity very very urgently.

    2. Avatar photo JmJohnson says:

      I’m also leaning towards this.
      Remote working, video conferencing etc if embraced would reduce the travel required thus freeing up capacity on existing rail services (and reducing our carbon footprint).
      We’re in the midst of a digital revolution but it seems there’s groups still focused on the past.

    3. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      As a remote worker who makes extensive use of video conferencing and remote collaboration I am afraid there is still very much a place for being physically present and the extra capacity HS-2 will provide is desperately needed, not least because it will allow more freight to use rail rather than road.

    4. Avatar photo joe says:

      Esp when they start soft or hard banning air flights which will push more ppl into cars or trains.

    5. Avatar photo A_Builder says:


      I think you are probably right on regional aviation.

      The only issue is that it is a lot easier to develop a new route to an old airfield than to build a new high speed rail route.

    6. Avatar photo Gary says:

      The biggest farce with HS2 was the decision not to push it much higher up the country. Our rail network is the typical legacy of its era. Routes are less than ideal and the longer we wait to put something like this on the ground the harder it will be as development and expansion of towns and cities isn’t stopping nor leaving room for future infrastructure.

    7. Avatar photo Anonymous Openreach Bod says:

      HS2 is a decade late, but not only that, it has very limited stops, it goes through multiple counties that dont have a stop, its a lot of money to benefit only a few locations, its essentially yet another london/leeds/north west project when that money should be going in under funded areas instead, its also taking money away from other rail projects so its not just new money going into the rail system but also diverted.

      The future and modernisation is not attending business meetings 30 mins quicker but doing them remotely.

  4. Avatar photo Terry O'Toole says:

    I hope/wonder how much of these 227 places pending announcement will be in Northern Ireland? To be fair, Openreach have been doing a reasonably good job on providing FTTP access in NI over the past 12 to 18 months on a commercial basis alone with most of the main population centres now covered. I’ve also happened to notice that they’re even putting FTTP lines in new builds in smaller villages (albeit with no provision yet to upgrade existing copper lines on the same exchange). The main problem will be trying to reach a significant minority of homes & businesses in much of rural NI which has a larger dispersed population compared to Britain, thus customers requiring longer lines from exchanges & cabinets which at present impacts xDSL services on them. That, of course, is more costly to install at least.

    Also, the suggestion of using a radio link to supply say an offshore island in Scotland with gigabit capacity for customers – I do know that Openreach already do this in one scenario for FTTC provision for customers on Rathlin Island in NI where the island’s exchange is radio linked back to the “mainland” at Ballycastle, with customers on Rathlin able to order up to the 80/20 service through it. There’s probably something similar in some cases in Britain that I’m not aware of. I’m sure a radio link to help provide FTTP provisions to small communities on offshore islands is achievable, albeit not at first be able to provide customers with guaranteed gigabit speeds.

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      Hoping for a few though I have a feeling project stratum will mean we won’t see a lot announced for NI. With bidding ongoing for public funding to role out better BB to rural parts of NI I would think Openreach will want to see the outcome of that before committing to areas that might already be covered by it anyway.

    2. Avatar photo Mr poopykins says:

      Northen Ireland already has a 33 percent coverage the highest of the nations!

    3. Avatar photo Matt says:

      @Mr poopykins very true however outside of the major towns and city’s speeds drop well below the UK average. Overall NI is still far worse off than the rest of the UK.

    4. Avatar photo Terry O'Toole says:

      @ Mr Poopykins – that is true. However that has mostly been achieved by getting at the low hanging fruit first. A complication is that the population distribution in Northern Ireland is a lot more like its neighbours to the south than to the east – over a third of the population is classified at living in a rural area and many of them live in dispersed, individual settlements outside of villages and hamlets, as opposed to a much more “clustered” settlement planning in Britain. In an Ofcom “Connected Nations” report a few years ago, it pointed out that the average length of a telephone line from the exchange to the premises was around four times longer in NI compared to Britain!

      The best way this is demonstrated is in the more rural local government areas of Northern Ireland, like Mid-Ulster and Fermanagh & Omagh. The latter has (according to current stats from Think broadband) an FTTP penetration rate at nearly 21%, but also having 23% whom can’t receive the USO marker of 10 Mb/s down & 1 Mb/s up, and over 16% that can’t even get 2 Mb/s down. The “superfast” coverage (30 Mb/s down) is estimated to be at 69%. Mid-Ulster is a bit better, but its superfast coverage is still just 75% with 14% not meeting the USO speed. Some other council areas mask similar rural coverage problems by having a higher “urban” population, but those problems still exist.

      TL;DR: The hill to climb to serve an increasingly larger percentage of NI customers is a fair bit steeper compared to Britain, in general.

  5. Avatar photo Rural FTTP says:

    Thought this might be exchanges that already have a significant amount of FTTP via BDUK funding, but a quick scan on the think broadband maps shows that to not be the case. Hope they give some justification tomorrow as to why those 227 exchanges as there are likely to be some angry people whose exchanges are missed.

    1. Avatar photo joe says:

      Don’t know what you expect them to say – its not rocket science. Its the cheapest/fastest exchanges on commercial rollouts.

    2. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      Just as with the cities programme I doubt they’ll give any justification. Their money, their call.

    3. Avatar photo Dumbass says:

      Cant do everyone at once. There isn’t an infinite amount of money.

    4. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      @ Dumbass

      “Cant do everyone at once. There isn’t an infinite amount of money.”

      Or an infinite number of people to do the work.

      Right now the ramp up is limited by boots on the ground.

      Hence OR trying new blood in their new fibre Training centres.

    5. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      Liskeard certainly has a nice chunk of FTTP – having been there personally and spotted the pre-connectorised fibre “russian dolls” on many poles. I presume this time around they’re going to fill in the not spots and overbuild the FTTC that Superfast Cornwall paid for.

      I hope they come a bit further west and keep at it. Their focus in my bit of Cornwall seems to have been to fill in the gaps that SC did not do (none of the postcodes are in the current phase), but it’d be nice to see some action on cabs like mine where a large number of users aren’t getting great (or any) FTTC speeds. I did spot an OR bod using his “Fibre First Big Build” branded barriers but I doubt that means very much.

  6. Avatar photo NE555 says:

    Beaminster has a population of 3K, but Clitheroe has 15K, Ely 20K, East Grinstead 24K.

    If the average were 9K (like Liskeard), then 227 towns would clock up another 2m in the FTTP footprint: a significant dent.

    Pulling fibre through the streets of these towns and small cities shouldn’t be any more difficult or expensive than in a large city, given that OR already has ducts and poles. And if there’s a telephone exchange, then the trunk fibre is already there.

    It’s the true rural outlying properties which are expensive to connect.

    1. Avatar photo Crash says:

      That is precisely what I was thinking, another reason these particular sites have been chosen could be demographics. I am sure these rural “market towns” are often populated with quite wealthy people, well able to afford and quite anxious to take up the potential extra capacity FTTP may be able to offer them. Budleigh Salterton near me for example is retirement central for wealthy upper middle class folk.

    2. Avatar photo Great news says:

      Beaminster is extremely rural. There sre many remote farms fed off of it that eill be done because if this. Billsges like Hoole Toller Whelm, mapperton, stoke abbot the axnoller farms. All will be done. The network in Beaminster itself is really old too. So this upgrade will save lots of money by not having copper faults.

    3. Avatar photo Gary says:

      I’ve said this over and over but apparently I’m wrong.
      It seems planning trenching and ducting is harder in a rural town or village than in an urban suburb.

      Also, as stated by others it doesn’t matter how many homes are classed as in Clitheroe for example, the build will be limited to the dense cluster.

    4. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      “It seems planning trenching and ducting is harder in a rural town or village than in an urban suburb.”

      I think we’re talking here about towns of several thousand people, likely with a local exchange.

      For small towns: conservation areas may make things harder, but on the other hand, traffic management is likely to be easier. Ducts may be blocked or full, but that’s true anywhere.

    5. Avatar photo Ben says:

      My town, Stone is on the list which is good news but I was also wondering how they cable it.

      The exchange is in the middle of town and everywhere I walk I see those beige BT grids in the ground. They are all over town and most housing estates.

      Is this how they get the fibre cables to the property? I have a grid right outside my front door. I assume they also put a new cabinet in next to the existing fibre one? Ours is an ECI cab and my speeds won’t go past 55Mbps, so this is good news for me.

    6. Avatar photo Andrew Ferguson says:

      No need for a cabinet with the Openreach FTTP roll-out.

      if the grids you talk about are covers to pavement chambers then all the kit will be put in that and existing ducting used

    7. Avatar photo Ben says:

      Thanks Andrew

      I’m sure they are pavement chambers. Virgin came a few weeks ago, they installed a cab up the road. The engineer doing the site survey said they would have to dig up the road to run the cable. I pointed to the grid and said can’t you use that. He said that’s BT’s where all their cabling goes and we can’t use it.

      Do they put a distribution node in every grid? Looking outside now, there are grids every 4 – 6 houses it seems.

    8. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      “Do they put a distribution node in every grid? Looking outside now, there are grids every 4 – 6 houses it seems.”

      There are several different types of equipment which connect like a tree with branches:

      — fibre aggregation node —-< splitter —-< connectorised block terminal

      Most pavement chambers will have only a CBT: these come in different sizes (e.g. 4 port, 8 port, 12 port) depending on the number of properties served from that chamber. https://www.thinkbroadband.com/assets/images/news-2019/12-port-manifold.jpg

      Some chambers will have splitter nodes. And very few will contain fibre aggregation nodes.

    9. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      @Ben – Grid? No.

  7. Avatar photo Lawrence says:

    Fingers crossed for my area! No plans to upgrade to fttc apparently, and am stuck on adsl, so this would be a welcome surprise

    1. Avatar photo A_Builder says:


      Fibre First spelt the end of the FTTC upgrade path (mostly) which I welcome as using all the CAPEX for fibre makes more sense.

      So **if** your area ticks the commercial boxes then a visit from an OR fibre team is the most likely upgrade.

      The only issue may be wether there is any backhaul handy if there are no FTTC cabs nearby or anything else that can be recycled.

    2. Avatar photo Lawrence says:

      See that’s part of the problem, there’s no nearby fibre cabs for back haul, and a strong VM presence in the area means BT won’t touch it, apparently it’s not commercially viable for this particular cabinet. But the other half of the village on different cabinets have been upgraded to fttc so I can’t see why it’s not viable ‍♂️. It’s so frustrating, although if liberty fibre does become a thing, wholesale access to VM infrastructure would be ideal in this area. But as it stands I won’t touch virgin media with a barge pole.

    3. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      Ok if half the village is done then there is possibly repurposable backhaul not that far away.

      I wouldn’t give up hope.

      OR won’t do half the place unless they have a very good reason as the goal is copper switch off.

      If you’ve got VM available and are struggling why not try it. I don’t much like HFC D3, as they implemented it, but I’d prefer it to ADSL if there was nothing else.

    4. Avatar photo Lawrence says:

      I’d be very reluctant to rejoin virgin media. I had Been with virgin for 15 years before I left. It’s an oversubscribed area so the latency is awful and it slows massively during peak times. That coupled with the dreadful customer service and soaring prices put me off virgin for good!

  8. Avatar photo Woop says:

    Refreshing to see no comments from the conder lady or the gain share troll , guessing as more good news comes they will have to find new past times for their respected retirements .

    1. Avatar photo Crash says:

      That is a pretty snarky comment

  9. Avatar photo David says:

    LOL Aberdare indeed!

    Virgin Nedia didn’t have problems reaching it.. hmmmm?

    1. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      I wondered that too. Aberdare is hardly “Rural”. I suppose that means most of the welsh valleys are now classed as semi-rural too! Wonder when they will get done.

  10. Avatar photo David says:

    What are the locations

    1. Avatar photo JamesP says:

      Did you not read the article? Monday?

    1. Avatar photo adslmax says:

      Disappointed nothing for Cuckoo Oak exchange. Bloody Openreach useless.

    2. Avatar photo Jake4 says:

      Max, if you looked at the thread or visited the URL you replied to you can see it saying ‘Rural UK Areas’. Your already in a G.Fast covered area so I don’t see why you can call openreach ‘Bloody useless’.

      Also most of the Cuckoo Oak area is covered with Virgin’s DOCSIS.

    3. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      I knew there would be nothing in my area, but I checked anyway.

  11. Avatar photo Granola says:

    I looked on the Telegraphs website at the map earlier and thought if it was accurate there wasn’t one within 40 miles of me, sadly it was accurate, but thanks for the link Jonny.

    Oh well, maybe next time…….

  12. Avatar photo JamesP says:

    Few places near me, Deal, Sandwich and Faversham. All areas well served already by FTTC, but I guess it’s a good start reducing focus on the larger towns/cities.

  13. Avatar photo Paul says:

    Am I missing something here, Wirral was on the list early last year I think and still nothing. I don’t get it? I can still only order 80 megabobs.

    1. Avatar photo WonkoTheSaneUK says:

      Neston is listed. That’s on the Wirral.

    2. Avatar photo Marty says:

      8 exchanges are currently on the list to be upgraded so far they have reached Mountwood and Rock ferry is next exchange on the list due to upgraded in Feb

    3. Avatar photo Marty says:

      What’s your exchange Paul?

  14. Avatar photo Jamie Simms says:

    Wow Openreach really have fallen out with Leicestershire not one place in that this plan and no other parts of the county or city are set for major rollouts. It appears the only FTTP in and around Leicester will be on new build areas.

    I find it very strange that Openreach have done lots of overbuilds in places like Coventry against CityFibre/Vodafone and Virgin Media but Leicester has no competition in FTTP but Openreach continues to over looks the area.

    1. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      Urban areas such as Coventry are commercially viable – lots of customers, cheap to connect, and they need to have a decent network to avoid losing customers to other providers.
      Rural areas with no choice but BT/OR don’t have any of those driving factors. It is nice that they are bothering with some of them (especially as nobody else is).

    2. Avatar photo Anonymous Openreach Bod says:

      Just a quick lesson here, Leicester is a bigger city than Coventry.

      The point is valid, I think its the only county in the country that has had no announced plans.

      It also the only city in the country that currently does not have a single g.fast enabled cabinet. Meaning no ultrafast whatsoever from Openreach.

      Which is pretty bizzare.

      But looking at competition data, Virgin Media are absolutely killing Leicester, they are very dominant, and I suspect what might be going on is that competitively BT have conceded defeat in the area.

  15. Avatar photo Sam says:

    This is brilliant news, I live in Billingshurst. I hope it covers the villages which branch off from Billingshurst too.

  16. Avatar photo Optical says:

    Wish they do my little area of Bath,would love FTTP.

  17. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

    Good to see, the overbuilding of BDUK begins.

  18. Avatar photo mike says:

    From the areas I know, this looks like a mix of small and medium market towns (e.g. Alton, Bordon, Gillingham, Faversham) and villages attached to them (e.g. for Alton – Holybourne, Chawton), but few real rural areas.

    Also I agree with other posters that they’re not going to cover 100% of properties in each of those areas – it’s going to be what’s commercially viable…

    1. Avatar photo JamesP says:

      The issue I have with this is that those areas that are ‘Commercially viable’ will already likely have access to Superfast FTTC speeds so will be less likely to upgrade IMO.

      While those customers in the smaller villages/harder to reach areas with slower speeds that are more likely to upgrade, are less likely to get upgraded to FTTP due to not being commercially viable.

      I think we’re going to see a big increase between the have’s and have not’s over the coming 5-10 years (until Openreach finally complete the less commercially viable areas).

    2. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      The growing disparity is inevitable when the bulk is left to commercial builds, with intervention (eventually) in areas left behind – there are already regular contributors here where the best broadband available to them differs by more than two orders of magnitude.
      The economic benefits of better broadband are often extolled, but being the last to get better broadband when your competitors have several years head start with >10x faster broadband doesn’t actually help.

  19. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

    No doubt timed to be before the 3rd Qtr results.
    Part of their 4 Million target.
    Does not include “Openreach’s FTTP Fibre First Towns, Cities and Boroughs Build Programme, BDUK, new sites and other smaller scale infill”.

    So it’s announcement is significant as it confirms that not all the commercial conversion (exclude BDUK) within the 4m will necessarily be in urban and that OR FTTP is now becoming commercially effective in the mid range market towns and villages. It also confirms OR are likely to be far more pragmatic regarding utilising existing FTTC/G.fast fibre, use of remote OLTs, New Build feeds etc. Particularly it gives hope for those destined to be land locked on FTTC for the foreseeable.

    All good news but BT still needs the confidence to increase their resource/investment above the 4m and onto their 15m ambition even if that still means only 50% OR FTTP coverage by mid decade. But I recon they can still cover a lot of user needs by FTTC/4G hybrid until later in the decade.

    1. Avatar photo AnotherTim says:

      “Particularly it gives hope for those destined to be land locked on FTTC for the foreseeable.”
      And maybe some distant hope for those still on ADSL/ADSL2+ – especially where 4G isn’t superfast.

    2. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      Sorry I had optimistically assumed BDUK, USO and 4G/5G uplift would have made significant progress to reduce those dependent ADSL by 2024. I was also hoping that by the elimination of ADSL (physical or commercially) may enable OR to tweak FTTC. Over optimistic yes but it is frustrating when it appears so doable.

    3. Avatar photo New_Londoner says:

      “All good news but BT still needs the confidence to increase their resource/investment above the 4m and onto their 15m ambition”

      I suspect that the whole industry is waiting for clarification from the government regarding business rates before committing to any larger deployment plans.

  20. Avatar photo Markdvdman says:

    Cross Hands is an interesting one. Firstly, it is Tumble and not Tumbe!

    Also. no Gorslas listed there in fact everywhere BUT Gorslas under Cross Hands! I wonder if it is exhaustive or not?

    1. Avatar photo Me says:

      Cross Hands PENYGROES, Cefneithin, Carmel, Llannon, Drefach, Capel Hendre, Cwmgwili
      All already fed by FTTC

  21. Avatar photo Me says:

    Sorry finger slip
    Gorslas is also fed off crosshands i would assume it would be done too as then the entire exchange area would be covered

    1. Avatar photo Markdvdman says:

      Yup I know they are covered by FTTC, but we all know it is inferior to FTTP!

      That is the point isn’t it? However, those not covered by FTTC will undoubtedly get priority I would assume…..

  22. Avatar photo Ben says:

    Hope my area of Stone is easy to install.

    From what I can see, there are those beige oblong BT grids everywhere so I assume its just a case of pulling the cables through everywhere.

    Perhaps they will have to dig some places but from what I know of stone, most places have these grids. I have 1 right outside my house although I’m still 1km from the FTTC – cab but on a newish housing estate

  23. Avatar photo gary says:

    Only one i recognise thats remotely near me is Findhorn and Kinloss, Not going to deny they have a need for FTTP but its an odd choice except for pure trial/costing reasons. Findhorn is tiny sub 1000 people and Kinloss is basically made up of an Army camp

    1. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      It might make sense to do Kinloss as the backhaul will be there?

      There might also be a lot of analogue lines to the base that could be bulk withdrawn by agreement with a single customer : MOD?

      Or it might be a long time sink line that eats engineer hours?

      Or it might be piggybacking off a new fibre being placed for MOD and a few extra pairs going in sat the same time?

      Sometimes it is the “other factors” that make a commercial case.

    2. Avatar photo Gary says:

      A_builder, sure lots of valid reasons and I’m not really being critical, just that knowing the area its quite an odd deployment in terms of what I would have expected at this stage.

      If you look at the area on the map, Kinloss and Findhorn are distinctly separate, I don’t know where the exchange or any existing fibre is.

      Honestly, it’s a good looking deployment in that it’s very typical of small cluster villages. How that translates to viability or not for other areas time will tell.

  24. Avatar photo adslmax says:

    Shame that Openreach should have bringing FTTP to this village – Emmerdale! lol

  25. Avatar photo Eddie Collins says:

    Millerhill, Dalkeith still 1.8gb just faster than dial-up, remember that. No high speed internet here.

    1. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      Do you mean 1.8 megabits per second? Then you are getting a service 32 times faster than the fastest dialup, which was 56 kilobits per second, or 0.056 megabits per second (and that was when line conditions were perfect).

      Maybe you you were lucky enough to have ISDN dialup, which was 64 kilobits per second – or 128 when bonding two channels together? Then I’m afraid your ADSL service is only 14 times faster than bonded ISDN.

  26. Avatar photo tim says:

    Out of the places I’ve looked at and I know I’m not seeing anywhere that actually has issues with poor speeds. Everywhere seems to be within the FTTC footprint and likely most homes would get 30Mbps+.

    So this news is actually quite disappointing. If these areas are to “start” rollout before March 2021 then anywhere not listed is not going to start before then.

  27. Avatar photo Gary says:

    Lincolnshire has been snubbed but Norfolk is getting it.
    We are only about 5 to 10 miles away from Norfolk kings lynn.
    I am a bt customer it’s a joke.

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      Why? You need to contact BT and tell them that it’s not fair.

    2. Avatar photo Tony says:

      There’s loads in South Lincs being done under BDUK, where are you?

    3. Avatar photo Gary says:

      Not the same Gary BTW.

      Fair is a very subjective idea. . There’s many factors that do come into these decisions but fair isn’t one of them.

    4. Avatar photo Gary says:

      I’m in Long Sutton on the 80meg down which I get 70 to 76 meg. FTTC
      Gedney drove can’t get about 5 meg very disappointing for the area.
      South Holland council are very slow at sorting the broadband cos of money.
      I don’t know why BT can’t sort out the areas which need the speed upgrade.

    5. Avatar photo Tony says:

      Gary, there’s lots going up around Long Sutton, Gedney Drove End and Sutton Bridge, more Builth built out every week with new bits going live in Feb and March.

  28. Avatar photo Marty says:

    Will rural areas get the latest XG-PON kit for symmetrical speeds in the future? To me makes more sense rather than going back later for it be refitted.

    1. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      No. GPON to start. XGSPON increases cost per premises passed a fair whack.

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      They don’t need to go back and refit anything to upgrade from GPON to XGS-PON.

      An upgrade in the exchange and a new ONT for the customers ordering the faster speeds is all that’s required.

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      To add to that, GPON, XG-PON and XGS-PON are all asymmetric anyway.

      OpenReach don’t do any symmetrical speeds and with the PON based technology they use for FTTP they probably never will.

    4. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      Umm the ‘S’ in XGSPON stands for ‘symmetrical’, it’s a variation of XGPON, John.

      Nothing in PON that makes it asymmetrical by default or nature. That you write that just demonstrates you have no idea what you are talking about. Symmetrical requires more expensive burst mode optics at the home but nothing about PON impacting it. There’s no mystical bandwidth limit on upstream on PON.

    5. Avatar photo A_Builder says:


      OR are trialling symmetrical services.

      ATM the asymmetric is being rolled out because it is cheaper.

      No reason why it cannot be upgraded to XGS Standard later – once the fibre is there it is perfectly capable.

  29. Avatar photo Mark says:

    They obviously hate Bedfordshire

    1. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      really – some of the posts on here are beyond belief

  30. Avatar photo CarlT says:

    The whine here has left me feeling pretty drunk.

  31. Avatar photo Ben says:

    What sort of timeframe for rollout to these locations do you think we can expect?

    1. Avatar photo Andrew Young says:

      Cuddington is in this list and is now available for order, so it can be quite quick if the conditions are right. (Relatively new estate here so they just installed a massive triple grid at the entrance to the estate and are using the existing ducts.)

  32. Avatar photo Dave Scott says:

    I wised they do FTTP all over Fife

  33. Avatar photo jeep says:

    I currently have fttc fed by pole from the cab about 300m up the road 7 get about 27meg down,with my town being earmarked for fttp would it be a problem as am fed by pole ? many thanks in advance(not teccy minded)

  34. Avatar photo Ben jones says:

    When will guilsfield sy219nb get fttp been requested the lines in the village are awful there is always problems and drops out always bt vans around safely it would be better just to update the lines or offer a price of 200 to 300 to the houses that really want and need this update

  35. Avatar photo Steph says:

    I am on the Caergwrle exchange. But we live just outside of Caergwrle but we are the end of the exchange. We get 7-10mb max and it’s dreadful. I have seen engineers testing out poles at the end of our lane. We are desperate to get FTTP as my children can’t even do their school work. Please could you update me will all the house on the Caergwrle exchange be fitted with FTTP or will it be only a certain percent off the exchange? Many thanks

    1. Avatar photo Chris Parry says:

      We are on the Caergwrle exchange as well and as much as I try I cannot find a date for when the FTTP will be available to order. I have e-mailed BT today and will report back if I find out a date.

  36. Avatar photo Richard Tallett says:

    They make it so hard to find out anything you have to give up. Our broadband is so slow upload .2mb

  37. Avatar photo Irene gabbott says:

    We have just been advised there will be 11 med wooden poles off 30 moors lane, winsford….fttp rural build mr/win-v 8143. Could you please advise exactly where these poles will be situated ie across the road….many thanks

  38. Avatar photo Charles Woodward says:

    I work at Beaminster School, through a location quirk we can’t even get superfast internet to the school. We had to go through the new Mountjoy school and pay for private fiber to join the schools. 80/20 is just isn’t enough with teachers working from home this is log jammed.

    I can’t wait to see if SWGFL (RM Technologies) ISP can get our school through this. A gigabit would be so welcome.

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