» ISP News » 
Sponsored Links

Openreach Begins 1Gbps FTTP Broadband Rollout in Aberdeen UPDATE

Wednesday, Jun 24th, 2020 (12:48 pm) - Score 8,357
fibre optic cable laying openreach outdoor

The city of Aberdeen in Scotland is about to get a second “gigabit-capable” Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network after Openreach (BT) announced that it had finally started to roll-out in the area, which is already home to an existing deployment by rival Cityfibre (Gigafast Broadband).

Openreach officially added Aberdeen to their “Fibre First” deployment plan last October 2019 (here), which forms part of their wider £12bn investment strategy to cover 4.5 million UK premises by March 2021 and then 20 million by the “mid – to late-2020s” (here). Since then they’ve been busy surveying and recently began the civil engineering side.

The first work is currently getting underway in the Ashgrove exchange area of Aberdeen, which includes parts of residential areas like Sheddocksley, Mastrick, Northfield, Stockethill and Middlefield. Work on the first main fibre route is now complete and it’s anticipated that several thousand premises will join them by March 2021.


On the surface it may sound like Openreach will cover a lot of the city within the space of a single year, although crucially they haven’t actually said how many premises will ultimately be covered or when the project will complete.

Rosanne Moreland, Local Openreach Programme Director, said:

“Connectivity has never been more important to Scotland and it’s a privilege to be one of the people leading the nation’s journey from copper to fibre. Gigabit broadband will enable rapid changes in vital services like digital health and education – it will be vital in in helping to rebuild and grow the economy.

I’m hugely excited about leading such a significant civil infrastructure project for Scotland. The opportunity to do something in my homeland has a huge meaning for me, and a significant portion of our build will be in harder-to-reach areas. But to really turbocharge the build, we’ll need better and faster planning, access and roadworks rules.

We already provide extensive superfast and ultrafast services in Aberdeen but full fibre is the only technology to be fully future-proofed to meet the city’s data demands in the future. It’s more reliable and resilient, with fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds.

We’re working closely with Aberdeen City Council on the build here and, while some roadworks will be necessary, we’re using our existing network of poles and underground ducts to install fibre cables where possible in a bid to keep disruption to a minimum.

Whatever the technology, people using the Openreach network have access to a wide range of service providers, bringing retail competition which means real choice.”

However Openreach won’t have the city all to itself. Cityfibre and partner ISP Vodafone began a similar FTTP deployment (costing £40m) in 2018 and they connected their first homes all the way back in January 2019 (here), but despite this head-start they currently only cover around a quarter of the city and that’s a weakness their bigger rival may soon seek to exploit.

Inevitably there will be overbuild between the rivals, just as we’ve seen in some other parts of the United Kingdom, which will result in more choice for consumers but also more disruption from a second round of civil engineering work in many of the same areas. Nevertheless we think that both operators stand a good chance of profitability, not least since Virgin Media has generally shunned the city (zero presence).

UPDATE 25th June 2020


Openreach has clarified that while they expect to have reached several thousand premises by March 2021, the roll-out in the city will continue on past this point. Sadly though they still won’t say how much of the city (i.e. how many total premises passed) will be achieved or when.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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 .
Search ISP News
Search ISP Listings
Search ISP Reviews
25 Responses
  1. Avatar photo JW says:

    There did used to be Cable in Aberdeen
    But it didn’t end well…


  2. Avatar photo Bryan says:


    Sheddocksley, Mastrick, Northfield, Stockethill and Middlefield. MOSTLY are lowish income areas do you think people who think the current fttc packages that they find expensive are going to double their bills?

    They should have started in bridge of don/Craigiebuckler/cove.

    1. Avatar photo Lee says:

      The more dense populations in those areas are going to be much cheaper to roll out. Also, it’s going to be a strategic battle with city fibre to second guess where each is going to get the jump on them.

      For e.g. City fibre were all but done on my street last year when openreach dropped Gfast on the street and cityfibre vanished and haven’t been seen since. I’ve confirmed from the think broadband maps that Cityfibre have done the same in other areas and avoided the streets with existing gfsst service.

    2. Avatar photo Oggy says:

      Yeah, because the Cityfibre coverage areas like Kincorth are hugely well off. 😀 😀

    3. Avatar photo Bryan says:


      I got on well enough they did my street in torry and i managed to order about 2 months after

      i did speak to the guy and he said i was the first to get an install in the area.

  3. Avatar photo Stephen says:

    I hope this isn’t the reason that the FTTP rollout in the shire has come to an abrupt halt. After 6 years of being in scope, our street (near Stonehaven) finally saw activity begin in April. Telegraph poles went up, so did the fibre, plus a few sections of underground ducting. All was going well until work suddenly came to a halt. An Engineer told us that the funding had ran out.
    I really hope they’re not moving funds into areas that already have a choice of broadband products & Cityfibre are already streets ahead of them.

  4. Avatar photo speedy says:

    I believe the main reason Aberdeen doesn’t have Virgin Media, is that there was a former analogue cable company, Atlantic Cable (which grew into Atlantic Telecom) went bust around the dot com bubble, before it got round to upgrading its system to digital, and the other operators at the time; Telewest, NTL and Cable & Wireless didn’t bother picking up the cable assets as it would have been financially unviable to upgrade it to digital systems and they were also all caught up in financial difficulty too.

    1. Avatar photo Bryan says:

      Correct, I still have an old Atlantic cable socket in my house.

    2. Avatar photo Declan McGuinness says:

      Have always wondered why Cable is not existent in Aberdeen always just thought it was too much of a distance to cable from Dundee/Perth to Aberdeen.

    3. Avatar photo Declan McGuinness says:

      Have always wondered why Cable is not existent in Aberdeen always just thought it was too much of a distance to cable from Dundee/Perth to Aberdeen.

    4. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      When Atlantic Cable collapsed in 2001 NTL was in no position to buy it and was itself only saved from collapse by filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the following year. Telewest was in less worse shape than NTL but still not at all good due to debts incurred from multiple takeovers, and had to start financial restructuring with its stakeholders in 2002. It took three more years for NTL and Telewest to get their companies into a suitable financial state to agree NTL’s purchase of Telewest in 2005.

    5. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      The most northern part of VM’s network uses leased fibre which might explain it to at least some extent – they have no network of their own to get to Aberdeen and would need two diverse links.

      That plus the cost of construction perhaps makes it prohibitive.

  5. Avatar photo Gary says:

    Figures, don’t bother doing anything until A rival starts then pile in to double cover another area while abandoning areas with no choices at all.

    I understand the commercial need to protect market share from competitors etc but there are hundreds of smaller towns and villages where a virtual monopoly on FTTP provision could be gained rather than sharing the subscribers in a contested location.

    I’m almost at the point of supporting a National telecoms Government owned/partnered provider rather than spending taxpayers money subsidising OR to provide fttp nationally and then take the profits from the deployment.

    Is there a return to Govt funds clawback in the potential 5 Billion subsidy for Gigabit ?

    1. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      OR are currently responding to current status based on previous plans. This will change depending on Ofcom’s consultation (results not until March 2021). It is their stated aim to ensure DSL pricing does not deter FTTP and copper closure whilst encouraging at least two competing network providers in Urban/SemiUrban. In Rural where only one provider is likely they will regulate both pricing and access.

      Recent announcements of smaller Altnets clearly shows there is money to be be made and they can get the investment funding needed.

      The sooner the position is clearer and the £5bn promise materialises then the sooner all the companies can plan with confidence. If OR are encouraged to commit to Rural and the lions share of the £5bn to ensure national coverage then even if they ramp up resource there will be plenty of City/Town locations for Altnets to concentrate on and the smaller focussed Altnets can exploit OR infrastructure fill in the gaps.

      All sounds good but companies like Cityfibre have indicated they will only seek to cover up to 85% of premises in an area which means there will over 15% not covered by fixed broadband competition nor the £5bn subsidy. So those on the long ends of the Urban cabinet may have a long wait unless covered by 5G.

    2. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      They said the aim is ‘at least 85%’ not at most.

    3. Avatar photo Gary says:

      Meadmodj, Interesting, not sure if most of it is really related to what i posted but hey….

      Sadly this is a case where the inability to create a monopoly position when investing in the less dense areas and thus not have a reliable return on that investment is detrimental to the improvement of service to those areas.

      Choice is a wonderful thing except when you have nothing to chose between.

    4. Avatar photo Fastman says:


      not sure what you are on about in reference to this point

      I’m almost at the point of supporting a National telecoms Government owned/partnered provider rather than spending taxpayers money subsidising OR to provide fttp nationally and then take the profits from the deployment.

      there is no taxpayers money in this build that can only be where a BDUK area and premises are validated as requiring state aid and no coverage expected in the next 3 years

      there is a clear misunderstand (deliberate or otherwise) about what is commercial (funded by Openreach) and what is BDUK (co funded by openreach and goverment after public prcurement)

  6. Avatar photo Alison says:

    I live near grandholm in bridge of Don and my broadband is like something out of the ark. It drops constantly and is so slow that my kids are regularly demented with the glitching.
    It would be good for the areas where the basic broadband is only just a step up for dial up to get something a bit quicker. I don’t want the earth ,just better than what there is. #missedourstreet

    1. Avatar photo Steve Mitchell says:

      Sell your home & move to Northfield…problem solved!

    2. Avatar photo Gary says:

      Have you looked at 4G solutions Alison, That’s been my route and its been a life changing move (so far as data/internet is concerned)

      Same reply I made to Ian, its really worth checking out. You maybe lucky and get FTTP sooner rather than later but if you don’t than later could well be another 10 years.

  7. Avatar photo Ian Chapman says:

    20 miles away from Aberdeen and one mile off the A92 and get 5MBS guaranteed, 15MB max with the premium fibre package … Copper line speeds at fibre prices, supplementing projects like this. Promises of 30MB by 2021 reduced to 25MB and now not likely to happen any time soon.

    1. Avatar photo Gary says:

      Have you looked at 4G solutions Ian, That’s been my route and its been a life changing move (so far as data/internet is concerned)

      1M adsl to 50+ over 4G at practically no cost differential after cancelling with BT. Yes the latency is a shade higher and it seems my mast is relatively lightly subscribed but its worth thinking about if you’re a long time away from getting any other improvement.

    2. Avatar photo Gary says:

      That’s not a fibre package, no matter what the Name/advertising tells you. its VDSL its copper or even aluminium. Thank the ASA for that.

  8. Avatar photo COLIN GEORGE says:

    Currently with Vodafone gigafast, one of the 1st in my area and contract now up, was hoping there wood be more choice when contract ended Purely for monthly cost, but still only Vodafone offering full fibre at the moment, I believe they only have exclusive rights to supply full fibre for 1st two years then it gets opened up to other suppliers, but know idea how that’s going to work.

  9. Avatar photo Steph garvie says:

    I live in Aberdeen city in a fairly new development and we have fibre in half our estate but not the half I am in. There are no works for my area in AB24 2PP… why? I don’t understand why we have no access to it. It’s not a big estate. We are completely forgotten about. A lot of days upload and download speeds are pitiful. Work from home is a definite no go. Why are not all areas being looked at? I have a professional job and am undertaking additional specialist training and can barely get online to access my work. I live on a private estate unadopted by the council but so is the other half of the estate that has access to fibre.

Comments are closed

Cheap BIG ISPs for 100Mbps+
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
Gift: None
NOW £24.00
Gift: None
Virgin Media UK ISP Logo
Virgin Media £26.00
Gift: None
Vodafone UK ISP Logo
Vodafone £26.50 - 27.00
Gift: None
Zen Internet UK ISP Logo
Zen Internet £28.00 - 35.00
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
New Forum Topics
Cheapest ISPs for 100Mbps+
Gigaclear UK ISP Logo
Gigaclear £17.00
Gift: None
BeFibre UK ISP Logo
BeFibre £19.00
Gift: None
Community Fibre UK ISP Logo
Gift: None
YouFibre UK ISP Logo
YouFibre £22.99
Gift: None
Hey! Broadband UK ISP Logo
Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 15 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (5723)
  2. BT (3573)
  3. Politics (2604)
  4. Openreach (2342)
  5. Business (2324)
  6. Building Digital UK (2277)
  7. FTTC (2061)
  8. Mobile Broadband (2042)
  9. Statistics (1830)
  10. 4G (1726)
  11. Virgin Media (1676)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (1498)
  13. Fibre Optic (1428)
  14. Wireless Internet (1418)
  15. FTTH (1383)

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact