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Openreach Reveal 56 New UK FTTP Broadband Rollout Areas

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 (10:54 am) - Score 30,552
diamond cutter fttp openreach broadband

In an unexpected move, Openreach (BT) has today added 56 new locations (towns and villages) to their £15bn rollout for a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network. The operator’s full fibre network has now covered 7.2 million UK premises (inc. 2.3m in the hardest to reach “final third” of the country).

The rollout is currently running at a build rate of c.58,000 premises per week and this is predicted to peak at c.75,000 premises per week at some point in the near future (i.e. up to 4 million premises per year, which compares with the 1.9 million added in 2020/21).

NOTE: Openreach’s goal is to reach 25 million premises (80%+ of the UK) by December 2026 and 6.2 million of those being targeted are in rural and semi-rural areas (here).

The operator has already announced a large chunk of their build plan for the next few years, but there are still more locations to be added and today’s list of 56 new locations is estimated to add just under half a million premises – including both rural and urban areas – to their rollout plan. The move is unusual because Openreach usually does quarterly build updates, yet today’s update follows one that occurred just last month (here).

The new locations being announced today include – Aylesford, Bishop Stortford, Cambridge, Dartford, High Wycombe, Hartlepool, Peterborough and Stockton. In total, this means more than 2,700 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets are now included in the company’s build programme.

More than 1.8 million homes and businesses have already connected to the new network and demand continues to grow – with the company handling around 35k new orders every week. The service, once live, can be ordered via various ISPs, such as BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Giganet and many more (Openreach FTTP ISP Choices) – it is not currently an automatic upgrade.

However, Openreach’s commercial rollout will still leave under 20% of premises unserved by their full fibre network, but some of those will be tackled by alternative network providers (as is already the case in quite a few areas). Meanwhile, for locations with no gigabit connectivity options or related plans, the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit will attempt to help fill the gap and BT may well scoop some of those contracts.

NOTE: Such build lists are tentative, which means that some locations may be removed (e.g. if found to be too expensive due to complications) and others added. Openreach has not yet completed their rollout plan, so more updates will follow in the future. Inclusion should thus NOT be considered as equating to 100% coverage of each area.

May 2022 Additions (56) to Openreach’s Full Fibre Build

Exchange County
Birtley Tyne and Wear
Durham County Durham
Greatham County Durham
Hartlepool County Durham
Hetton Le Hole County Durham
Seaham County Durham
Fencehouses Tyne and Wear
Easington County Durham
Peterlee County Durham
Wellfield County Durham
Brotton North Yorkshire
Loftus North Yorkshire
Redcar North Yorkshire
Skelton North Yorkshire
Saltburn North Yorkshire
Eaglescliffe North Yorkshire
Hartburn County Durham
Ingleby Barwick North Yorkshire
Norton County Durham
Stockton County Durham
Wolviston County Durham
Bishops Stortford Hertfordshire
Hatfield Broad Oak Essex
Roothing Essex
Doddington Cambridgeshire
March Cambridgeshire
Eye Cambridgeshire
Mereside Cambridgeshire
Peterborough Cambridgeshire
Whittlesey Cambridgeshire
Dartford Kent
Slade Green Greater London
Barming Kent
Bearsted Kent
High Wycombe Buckinghamshire
Lane End Buckinghamshire
Naphill Buckinghamshire
Bluebell Hill Kent
Aylesford Kent
Clevedon Somerset
Poole Poole
Yatton Somerset
Woodbridge Suffolk
New Southgate Greater London
Winchmore Hill Greater London
Upholland Greater Manchester
Cambridge Cambridgeshire
Cherry Hinton Cambridgeshire
Cottenham Cambridgeshire
Fulbourn Cambridgeshire
Girton Cambridgeshire
Histon Cambridgeshire
Teversham Cambridgeshire
Willingham Cambridgeshire
Waterbeach Cambridgeshire
Werrington Cambridgeshire

UPDATE 2:03pm

For anybody wondering why Openreach has issued a rollout update so soon after the last one, it’s apparently all down to the sheer scale and pace of the programme. The locations being announced today are understood to be those where Openreach has found they have enough capacity to get on with the build, while at the same time keeping an eye on giving consumers the earliest possible view of where they’re going to be building next (transparency).

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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74 Responses
  1. sam says:

    All up north… “sigh”

    1. Gareth says:

      Apart from the majority (34/56) that aren’t…..

    2. HR2Res says:

      Sam must live on the Isle of Wight!

    3. sam says:

      Close Midhurst. But still

    4. Gareth says:

      Openreach’s deployment map shows that Midhurst is already in their plans too…

    5. Peter F says:

      All up north? Don’t you mean all down south?

  2. Bob says:

    W00t w00t. Another list of “we’ll be with you in 1 to 4 years”.

    Surely they’re able to expand on time frames for previously announced areas providing an updated timeline?

    At this rate 80% of their lovely map will be burgundy and everyone will still be left guessing.

    1. Alex says:

      I don’t see anyone else saying they’ll upgrade 25m homes sooner…

    2. Sunil Sood says:

      @bob

      “Surely they’re able to expand on time frames for previously announced areas providing an updated timeline?”

      BT used to provide more detailed rollout dates for FTTC until some got unhappy that they used to change.

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/04/asa-tells-bt-to-stop-using-misleading-fibre-broadband-availability-dates.html

      I presume that this has informed their approach to FTTP dates, though I would hope the rollout date ranges do get narrower

    3. bob says:

      @alex

      I’m rolling our Full Fibre to 25,000,001 million premises between 2009 and 2040. Watch this space for updates.

    4. Bob says:

      They never seem to mention how many of those on the list they have actually deployed Fibre to. All they do is add more to the list with some very vague window of years

      The reality is it is just a list of places where they currently at some time in the future intend to deploy fibre

      They should be able to give say a 6 month window. With a note say it is provisional an may change

      It would give some kind of indication to people

    5. John says:

      They are rolling FTTP since 2021 in my town in Cambs. So far they pulled a FO cable to some cabinets and thats all. At that speed I would expect this to finish maybe in 2030.

  3. NJ says:

    Is there a full list of all on the planned list with status somewhere?

    1. High Lander says:

      This page https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/where-when-building-ultrafast-full-fibre-broadband has a map and below that a link to download a PDF telling you what you want to know.

    2. NJ says:

      Thanks, alas my parents town still has no rollout date, despite all the villages around it being planned! You couldn’t make it up!

    3. NJ says:

      If you would like to see the insanity, look for Ilkley (or LS29 9QW, not my parents postcode just a random one)

  4. James says:

    All the towns local to me are places that Cityfibre have already announced that they’re rolling out to (and skipped the same towns as Cityfibre skipped). Seems to me a bit like trying to protect against Cityfibre taking too much market share

    1. John says:

      Not just Cityfibre, a lot of these are already covered by Netomnia

    2. Mike says:

      If Openreach is Rome, the altnets are the barbarians, they don’t have much choice imo.

  5. Winston Smith says:

    So is Eaglescliffe being listed as North Yorkshire a typo (it’s in County Durham) or does it mean that FTTP will be coming to Yarm? (which is in North Yorkshire but served by the Eaglescliffe exchange)

    1. S says:

      I would be overly joy’d if the rope sticking out of the Openreach duct at my front door would manifest itself into a fibre cable. It’s been there for nearly 3 months now , teasing me. My neighbour has been activated mine was due “activation” on 26th April .
      They now have a “specialist team” dealing with it ….even though the “specialist team” message has been like that for 3weeks with no further updates. Site manager mentioned “Opereach ducting over 490m, so has to be replanned”
      You couldn’t make it up.

  6. Chris Jones says:

    My exchange (Great Mollington near Chester), as expected, is not on the list, although neighbouring exchanges are. We will be within the final 5% that is uneconomic for Openreach.

    1. Alex says:

      *and others…?

      It’s not just Openreach building, as all of the altnets are at pains to point out. Hopefully they reach you.

  7. Anon says:

    Still… Addiscombe, Croydon (LSADD) nothing, whilst being close to other exchanges which offer fttp…

  8. Phil says:

    I usually moaned but this time no comment over Openreach FTTP roll out plan. I get used to it now.

    1. Sonic says:

      Same. Have given up. Not a single Hampshire location. I guess they are focusing on overbuilding where alt-nets have announced build plans.

    2. OR fibre Engineer says:

      Hampshire is being done by a new team within myself and a team of about 40ish engineers. I can’t say where we are exactly but it is being done.

  9. PW says:

    Massive pinch of salt here. I live in Ashtead, which if you look at their coverage map is a massive hole with no confirmed plans surrounded by other areas with confirmed build. Literally walked passed Openreach gangs working on poles in the streets behind me, so they are obviously taking the easy pickings where they can.

    1. Alex says:

      Lol “easy pickings”
      Tell that to the guys and girls project managing, surveying, planning, designing and building it.

    2. PW says:

      I will do, given that is Openreach’s own approach and well known through the industry. Easier to build to pole fed areas in a town than dig new UG feeds as an example.

      It’s a sensible approach, but clearly one that leads to a disconnect between public announcements and reality.

      More than aware of the complexity involved in the process, having worked in the industry for a fair while

    3. An Engineer says:

      By ‘easy pickings’ I imagine the person was referring to the cost per premises passed, not that the actual work itself is easy, although project managing, surveying, planning, designing and building are what people were employed and are paid to do.

      No need for anyone to take the comment personally: I’d hope it wasn’t intended that way.

  10. Bon says:

    Strange, my area isn’t even on Openreach’s FTTP plan list/website but I’ve seen Openreach installing FTTP gear to a few poles near my road. We’re urban with access to FTTC/VM/alt-nets etc so it’s hardly a case of BDUK or the like.

    1. Bon says:

      ..just checked and 1000Mbps WBC FTTP is available to the addresses on that road. I’ll have to make a post about it

    2. Witchunt says:

      The build lists do not cover all the smaller FTTP build programmes within openreach. Small clusters often appear with little or no prior notification

  11. TBC says:

    Greatham definitely already has a FTTP in places as i planned it in the summer of 2020 and its built already.

    Not sure if uts active though?

  12. Curious says:

    Seems like OR are getting scared by the alt-nets building networks in decent sized towns (like Hartlepool).

    I was at the connecting North Conference the other week, and was talking to someone within the council who mentioned Cityfibre had been building there.

    There is a concern of overbuild here, expecially in a place like Hartlepool (where I am from) where there is an ageing population and lots of people working away from home. hyperfast BB isn’t much of a concern there.

    Rather than focussing on losing network share, Openreach should think of building locations where there isn’t already scope for building FTTP networks. Most of the build from alt-nets are PIA anyway, so they will still be getting some (small) income from these types of places where they are overbuilding

    1. An Engineer says:

      ‘Rather than focussing on losing network share, Openreach should think of building locations where there isn’t already scope for building FTTP networks.’

      It makes business sense to focus on not losing share. The areas that aren’t in scope are probably more expensive to build to and monopoly Openreach so their incremental income is small and payback period very long.

    2. Jonny says:

      If you want a network operator to build without taking into account commercial realities then you need to remove it completely from that environment and operate it as a public utility with public funds.

  13. Moo says:

    Not surprised about High Wycombe. We already got Hey Broadband, Swish Fibre and soon to be Trooli builds happening here.

    It was only a question of time BT Openreach end up responding.

    1. Jason says:

      Would be interesting to see how this all correlates with household incomes… In Leeds, the rich North was developed first – and now the less economically powerful South… Can’t complain (hopefully) – it looks like both OR and CF are building here now (finally)… Let’s hope they won’t miss out my street as Virgin did a few years ago…

    2. An Engineer says:

      Think Morley was the first exchange completed in Leeds, Jason.

      CityFibre put a bunch of provisional streetworks in and weeks later Openreach were swarming the area.

      However that’s not entirely clearcut. Openreach largely ignored Hunslet even as CityFibre covered nearly half the exchange.

    3. Tunrip says:

      I’m surprised, I feel like we’ve been waiting forever! As far as I know, Swish are hitting towns around the edges of Wycombe but not the town itself. “Hey!” have been saying they’ll start laying fibre in my road “in just a couple of months!”… since September.

      I’m not sure about Trooli.

      I’m just really pleased to see some sign of progress! 🙂

  14. Steven says:

    Alot of these areas aren’t even on the roll out plan at all but bordering areas are with a roll out due 2022/25

  15. Kane says:

    In my experience open reach want nothing to do with installing fttp in apartments even if they’re privately owned, you provide permission from the property management company and the extra work is drilling a hole from the trunk to the wall over a distance of less than 3 feet. All 8 apartment’s in my development are still listed on open reach’s website as fttp ready despite them unwilling to do the work necessary to get it up and running. I know quite a few people in my city with the same issue.

    1. Matthew says:

      Yep I live in an apartment flat theres like 3 4 floors including ground and they skiped right by us even thow we were in the plans what a joke and wast of time

    2. Simon says:

      BT engineers twice refused an install for me as the kbkt brick I had in my house was too low and they apparently won’t install if they can’t attach a ladder to the wall first. Be interesting what they say as they are switching my FTTC off in 3 years time.. Not sure why they bothered with my village 99% of the houses here are wood with brick back ends!

      They keep sending me 150/30 flyers through the post for £3 a month also offering me 500/110 free for a month to try it however… And I’m stuck on 25/6 on plus net!

    3. Bob says:

      They need permission from the Freeholder and many will not give that also lots of flats have no ducting

  16. Atari Mark says:

    Upholland- Openreach finished pulling fibres and installing new street boxes about 3 months ago. Surprised it has taken so long to announce the roll out.

    1. Atari Mark says:

      Forgot to say, Virgin media turned up 3 weeks before OR so maybe they were playing catchup

  17. A Frost says:

    Taunton Somerset?

    1. Somerset says:

      Is on the list.

  18. Pete Warren says:

    May 15th.2022. Studd Hill. Herne Bay. Kent. Openreach contractors Installing over-head FTTP Cables and control units to poles. 1 Engineer stated they should be finished in about 3 months.and are also working to cover all of Herne Bay and Environs.

    1. Bob says:

      I would take the 3 months with a very large pinch of salt. You will be looking at 6 months to 12 months before you can place orders

      A common trick is to enable one or two streets and then claim it has gone live. Well it has in those couple of streets but not in the other 99% of the area

  19. Matthew says:

    Be nice if they would finish areas there already in 1st thow wouldn’t it but I guss that’s to much to arks from bt I guss

    1. OR fibre Engineer says:

      This isn’t always possible, sometimes we may need to wait for more fibres to be allocated or even built on the exchange as such we move to the next exchange and return when there is more fibres

  20. Simon says:

    We have tenants in Peterlee who can’t even afford their rent. So this is a great idea not

  21. Nick Roberts says:

    Right off topic, what’s the thermal tolerance of fibre optic cabling compared to coax or straight twisted pair copper and how deep is it buried ?

    1. Bob says:

      I would assume it goes in at the same depth as copper

      Not sure what you mean by thermal tolerance. Both copper and Fibre will withstand normal weather conditions. Fibre probably copes better

      With copper temperature will affect the resistance of a cable. I don’t think Fibre has any equivalent to that but I am no expert on fibre

    2. An Engineer says:

      Google it.

  22. GG says:

    I’d love somebody to cross reference these new place announcements to alt net announcements since the last BT one.

    1. Bob says:

      https://bidb.uk/

      That does what your after doesn’t it?

  23. Sussex Fibre says:

    Great to read about all these ‘tricks’ from people who are outside of the business or have no experience in delivery of FTTP.

  24. Ethan says:

    My address is ineligible for a gigabit voucher since it’s already in the plans, but I still see nor hear anything for my little slice of Dorset. Sturminster Newton and Sherborne are highlighted on the map, but Bishop’s Caundle remains a gaping void in between. Moving isn’t a viable option and I’m scared that I won’t be able to start my business for years. If not OpenReach, I’m praying that *anyone* lends us a hand here…

    1. An Engineer says:

      You’re talking about 2 places with over 10 and over 20 times the population respectively. Not a massive surprise that they’re being built to before a tiny village in between them. It’s actually quite impressive that your village is in the plans at all let alone the idea that it should be in the first half of the Openreach build while millions of city and large town premises are uncovered.

  25. Bob says:

    Norfolk seems to be missing from previous list and this update

    1. An Engineer says:

      It has 1/70th of the UK’s population and a bunch of places already in the plans. Not a massive surprise if it doesn’t feature in each and every announcement, is it?

      A bunch of counties aren’t featured here. It’s a pretty small announcement in the grand scheme.

  26. LincolnshireLeftOut says:

    Nothing for Lincolnshire. Roll on 2026

  27. Bob says:

    I don’t think that BT can call it a Rollout schedule in any meaningful way. It is just a list of exchange areas where they currently intend to enable sometime in the next 5 years

    1. Bob2 says:

      Exactly Bob.

      For example, you look at South Wales and it is pretty much a blanket coverage of “sometime before 2026”. But the likes of Aberdare and Marthyr have seen significant deployment, and looking at thinkbroadband’s coverage map is clearly live in well over 80-90% of the exchange areas. Why don’t they at least show those as in progress????

  28. M says:

    Come on bt get the wn7 area sorted not just the dungaree wearing upholland brigade

  29. Paul M says:

    I feel the Cambridgeshire entries are just to undermine the efforts of Cambridge Fibre and prevent them getting established.

    They did this once before, killed off a nascent wireless ISP, by bringing forwards their ADSL rollout by quite a few years just as that ISP were really getting started.

    Once BT had squashed the opposition, they then neglected further investment and cherry-picked the easy areas for fibre and left the copper circuits to slowly rot away.

  30. Wendy forder says:

    When will norfolk be on the list I was promised at least 1gb I’m lucky to get half of that

  31. STIG says:

    I wander whether this could be down to the DCMS Voucher allocation to stop other Altnets claiming the impossible £1,500 voucher per property that Altnets can never claim?. They may aswell call it (B.T.) Boris Telecommunications, as there are some underhanded tricks happening here by the government.

  32. Hurray says:

    So Leicester the 11th biggest city is still mostly in the last 20% of unplanned areas from Openreach, thats mental. A city been a not spot? One of the suburbs of Leicester is in the bottom 10 LA’s in country for FTTP coverage.

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