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Openreach Add 51 UK Areas for Copper Phone to Fibre Switch – Tranche 11

Thursday, Jan 19th, 2023 (4:45 pm) - Score 21,296
openreach uk phone exchange engineer 2021

Openreach (BT) has today announced the addition of a further 51 UK exchanges under ‘Tranche 11‘ of their project to move away from copper-based analogue phone (PSTN / WLR etc.) services and on to a new all-IP network, which can also occur once over 75% of premises in each area are able to get FTTP broadband.

As a reminder, there are two different, but related, phases to moving away from the old copper line infrastructure (these can sometimes cross-over each other). The first starts with the gradual migration of traditional analogue voice (PSTN) services to digital all-IP technologies (e.g. SOGEA), which is due to complete by December 2025 and is occurring on both copper and full fibre line products (i.e. ISPs are introducing digital voice / VoIP style solutions for customers).

NOTE: Openreach’s full fibre currently covers over 9 million UK premises (build rate of c.62,000 per week) and they aim to reach 25 million (80%+) by Dec 2026.

The second phase involves the ongoing rollout of gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure – using light signals via optical fibre instead of electrical signals via slow copper lines. Only after this second stage has largely completed in an exchange area can you really start to switch-off copper in favour of fibre, which is a longer process as you have to allow a few years for user migration.

Take note that the process for fully moving from copper to “fibre” begins once 75% of premises in an exchange are able to receive ultrafast broadband connectivity. We note that hybrid fibre G.fast technology also counts toward this, but its impact will be small (the rollout stopped at 2.83 million premises) and is only relevant where speeds of 300Mbps+ are achievable.

Between the full fibre rollout and the gradual switch away from copper lines, this process will take several years in each area to complete, and the pace will vary (i.e. some areas have better FTTP coverage than others). We should add that Openreach currently plans to stop selling all analogue phone lines to new customers by September 2023 (as above, this has no impact on IP / SOGEA based copper or full fibre lines).

The 51 New Exchange Locations (Tranche 11)

The migration process away from the legacy services usually starts with a “no move back” policy (i.e. no going back to copper) for premises connected with fibre, which is followed by a “stop-sell” of copper services to new customers (12-months of notice is given before this starts and that is what today’s list represents). This stage is then followed by a final “withdrawal” phase (the first exchanges will reach this in the spring).

The 51 exchanges announced today – covering 513,000 premises – take the total number of exchange upgrades that have already been notified as part of the aforementioned process (including trial exchanges) to 712 (c.6.6 million premises). The “stop sell” in these areas will be introduced from 16th February 2023. But take note that we only show 40 of these below, since the full list also includes 11 exchanges that have already been notified and moved from previous tranches.

As it stands today, around 3.9 million premises are already under stop sell for copper products, with a further 2.6 million coming actively under stop sell in the next 12 months.

NOTE: Openreach has around 5,600 exchanges, but hybrid fibre (FTTC, G.fast) and full fibre (FTTP) services are supplied via different exchanges (c.1,000 of that 5,600 total) – so up to 4,600 will eventually close (after 2030) – see here, here and here.

The operator has also added a Stop Sells Page to their website, which makes it easy to see all of these changes. Remember, the following list is tentative, so changes and delays do sometimes occur.

40 Stop Sell Exchanges in Tranche 11

Exchange Location Exchange Code
Great Barr West Bromwich CMGREB
Northern Birmingham CMNOR
Attleborough Attleborough EAATT
Littleport Littleport EALPT
Soham Soham EASOH
Dean Edinburgh ESDEA
Highams Park Greater London – Waltham Forest LNHPK
Egham Egham LWEGH
Deal Deal NDDEA
Goudhurst Goudhurst NDGOU
Pluckley Pluckley Thorne NDPLU
Portaferry Newtownards NIPT
Rostrevor Newry NIRS
Horncastle Horncastle SLHC
Whitwell Creswell SLWHT
Shipston On Stour Shipston-on-Stour SMSH
Wanborough Wanborough SSWNB
Llangennech Llangennech SWLLG
Dalleagles Bankglen WSDAS
Luss Luss WSLUS
Torranyard Torranyard WSTOR
Portobello Edinburgh ESPOR
Ramsgate Ramsgate NDRAM
Craiglockhart Edinburgh ESCRA
Morningside Edinburgh ESMOR
Ilford Central Greater London – Redbridge LNILC
Seal Sevenoaks NDSEA
West Bristol SSWES
Pymore Little Downham EAPYM
Rayleigh Rayleigh EARAY
Pencoed Pencoed SWPND
Caernarfon Caernarfon WNCA
Hawarden Sandycroft WNHAW
Llandudno Llandudno WNLDD
Penygroes Penygroes WNPEG
Porthmadog Porthmadog WNPOR
Donaldson Edinburgh ESDON
Loughton Loughton LNLOU
Watford Watford LWWAT
St Peters Worcester WMSTP

UPDATE 5:13pm

For those who want to know, the full list of 51 exchanges is as follows:

Boston Spa MYBOS
Dalkeith ESDAL
Gowerton SWGC
Hoylake LVHOY
Park Street LNPKS
Portglenone NIPE
Sketty SWSKJ
Theydon Bois LNTHB
Great Barr CMGREB
Northern CMNOR
Attleborough EAATT
Littleport EALPT
Highams Park LNHPK
Goudhurst NDGOU
Pluckley NDPLU
Portaferry NIPT
Rostrevor NIRS
Horncastle SLHC
Whitwell SLWHT
Shipston On Stour SMSH
Wanborough SSWNB
Llangennech SWLLG
Dalleagles WSDAS
Torranyard WSTOR
Portobello ESPOR
Ramsgate NDRAM
Craiglockhart ESCRA
Morningside ESMOR
Ilford Central LNILC
Pymore EAPYM
Rayleigh EARAY
Pencoed SWPND
Caernarfon WNCA
Hawarden WNHAW
Llandudno WNLDD
Penygroes WNPEG
Porthmadog WNPOR
Donaldson ESDON
Loughton LNLOU
Watford LWWAT
St Peters WMSTP

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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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34 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    Openreach seems to be speeding up a bit here, I have seen them in a few places in the last couple of days, I still think it will be a while before they get to 75% coverage from this exchange as it covers the whole city.
    I am hoping it will take a while, at least another 6 months, but to be honest I can’t see it happening until next year at least.

  2. Avatar photo Stack silver! says:

    Openreach FTTP is 30 metres from my street. They refuse to wire it up. Their claim is that my street is connected to different equipment. Whatever that means. I thought FTTP was to an agnode and to the telephone exchange, not to a greenbox. Anyway I asked them under that near network trial why does my neighbour have it but I don’t and they just flat out refused. 75 houses on the street and openreach doesn’t care at all about us. I’m also in a netomnia area, but they’ve been ‘coming soon’ for months and months and each time I ask when the date gets put forward by another 3 months.

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:

      Cos Openreach choose cherry picker like a lottery. Some may get it, some may not get it. Waste of time.

    2. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      > I thought FTTP was to an agnode and to the telephone exchange, not to a greenbox

      That’s correct. The FTTP network starts at a Connectorised Block Terminal (CBT) either underground or on a pole. Each CBT is built to serve a specific group of properties. If your property is not within the design footprint of a CBT, then FTTP is not available to you – end of story.

      Every FTTP rollout has to end *somewhere*, and it sounds like sadly you are just over the boundary. If they extended the network to cover your property, then somebody a bit further downstream would be in the same situation as you are now.

  3. Avatar photo Stuart says:

    @MarkJackson or anyone else. Is there any more material of information on the voice switch over that is referenced in this article that will happen in September and how it will affect ptsn phone connections over a phone line? Will they have yo change their lines to a broadband only line such as SoGEA?
    Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The September 2023 date is a “stop sell” for new orders of old analogue phone products, so it doesn’t impact those services that are already running. But when somebody comes to switch provider then they’ll need to adopt a SOGEA and IP based voice service, if FTTP isn’t yet available.

      But I am concerned that some Openreach-based ISPs still haven’t adapted to do an IP voice solution, including the odd big name like Plusnet. This is going to cause some consumers some hassle, but it’s not like providers haven’t had years of warning.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @Mark Jackson. I know someone who have the Plusnet broadband only service and their phone is with BT, their son is going to go for Zzoomm, built the phone is staying as it is, so if BT eventually put that on digital voice, would that mean they would have two routers? One for zoomm and one for the phone?

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      Once PSTN/WLR is gone it will no longer be possible to have 1 provider do the voice and another provider do the broadband over the same pair, in the same way they do now.

      You would need either 2 lines (with possibly 2 routers if that’s how the voice provider does VOIP) or pick a provider that doesn’t insist on using their router just to make a phone call.

  4. Avatar photo Steve says:

    We are currently connected to BT by copper cable underground. We have been advised by Freedom Fibre that this is to be tured off in 2026. Instead of connecting us using the underground connection, our area is having 9 metre masts installed and we are to be connected overhead, covering all the streets in spiders web effect cables. This does not make sense to me. This is a retrograde step. Apparently the poles are permitted development by the government and we can do nothing about it!!

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      That is a bit strange, I thought they would use the ducts, not have new poles. Openreach wants to turn off copper and this year they are tuning off analogue voice, they say by 2025 that we will all be on fibre, not sure if that will happen.
      but you are right, chucking upo poles for fibre is a backwards step if they can use ducts
      We have had poles for years and even adding three extra cables to it is starting to look a mess and going down the road looking at fibre going from one pole to another, it looks awful, this is Openreach doing the cables from pole to pole, Zzoomm done trenches to go from one pole to another.
      You thought in this day and age they would reduce the amount of cables, not add more.

    2. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      Depends how far underground is in ducts – This is the problem I have – no duct from underground box to my house – may be cheaper to install a pole than it is to dig up the roads. I’d be more than happy to see more poles go up if it meant I could get full fibre…

    3. Avatar photo Scott says:

      It’s not really a retrograde step, FTTP is often delivered via new drop wires from the pole.

      I do understand why you may not like it though (or see the idea as backwards).

    4. Avatar photo Chris Jones says:

      You need to bear in mind that fibre cannot be blown through a duct if there are sharp angled bends in the duct.

    5. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Lots of directly buried cables (no ducts) or congested ducts making poles more financially viable.
      I don’t know where Adrian gets the idea openreach wants to turn off analogue voice this year or everyone will be on fibre by 2025. Must have his wires crossed!!

    6. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @The witcher, I thought it was 2023 that a lot of analogue phones will be switch to digital voice as Bt want to get rid of PTSN. Once 70% of an exchange area is covered with FTTP by Openreach they will do stop sell on copper.

      The area I live don’t have any stop sell on anything yet according to BT checker, but how long for is another thing. The phone thing is not a problem for me, I have VoIP anyway, but I hope openreach don’t cover 70% here before June, saying that I thought Openreach had to give a years notice, or is that wrong?

    7. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      3 more years until the PSTN closes, just stop selling new WLR (PSTN voice) from September .
      Copper stop sell is usually 12 months after 75% of an exchange area is able to get openreach FTTP, but the 40/10 FTTC variant is excluded so you should be ok when your minimum term ends.

    8. Avatar photo JmJohnson says:

      Sounds more like Freedom Fiber are installing in your area and they are using the PSTN turn off date as miss-leading info to drum up sales.
      If you have existing ducting OR will blow Fiber through it from your house back to the splitter which would be installed in a new U/G junction box somewhere along the ducting shared between yourself and your neighbors.
      Freedom Fiber may not want/be able to get access to OR’s ducts and are thus installing poles.

    9. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @The witcher, ah, I see, I knew about the stop sell stuff, but I did not know when they were going to close down PSTN, I suppose they are hoping in three years time most people will be on digital voice, which they would be, I just hope digital voice is better quality than a lot of Voip systems I hear, popping and squeaking and cutting out.
      Mine is ok, the main problem with my VoIP is the age of the phones, old BT Synergy 4500, they are very old now, I even had to buy a second set-off Ebay to replace one that went belly up, my idea was to just use a normal base without the answering machine as I never use it

      Sorry, went off a bit then 🙂

      75%, not 70%, ah, Is there anyway of finding out the percentage of an exchange area that have been fibrered up so to say?:)

      Just because I am curious, why is the 40/10 variant excluded? I would have thought that what open reach would want to get people off as there is a lot of us on it. All this road and a few others up here would be on the slower speed and on my walks down apart from the three in my road and other roads around here don’t seem to be in a rush to change.
      I realise that some people are still in contract and may be waiting until it ends to go onto Zzoomm, but there has to be plenty of people who are on openreach FTTC and could just recontract with their provider, unless they are doing what I am doing and waiting until the prices increase in March.

      Anyway, thanks for the info, it gives me a bit of breathing space, I will wait at first to see what prices rise to in March, I have an idea what mine will rise to, I will then see what Plusnet offers me, because to be honest plusnet have been good to me.

  5. Avatar photo Clive peters says:

    Presumably an exchange can be switched off once 100% are on fttp or fttc (but not adsl)?

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Do you mean the PSTN or the whole building ? Kinda depends….

  6. Avatar photo Optimist says:

    This is odd. In line with their promise to give at least a year’s notice, BTOR state the stop sell for tranche 11 will not take effect until February 2024, five months later than the national stop sell date of September 2023!

    How does that work?

    1. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      Tranche 10 takes effect after the national stop sell date too!

      Curiouser and curiouser!

    2. Avatar photo Tom says:

      Openreach are running two separate upgrade programmes ‘FTTP Priority Exchange’ and ‘WLR Withdrawal’, however these interact – see https://www.cvf.openreach.co.uk/cpportal/products/product-withdrawal/stop-sells-updates

    3. Avatar photo Dassa says:


      Copper stop sell and PSTN stop sell are different things.

      PSTN stop sell (AKA WLR stop sell) happens across the UK in September 2023. PSTN stop sell affects things like wholesale line rental (WLR3), ISDN-2, ISDN-30 and LLU-SMPF. It does not affect provision of FTTC, ADSL (SOTAP) or LLU-MPF (not shared).

      Copper stop sell happens on an exchange by exchange basis. It means that if the address is served by fibre then no copper products can be ordered. For addresses not served by fibre then FTTC and SOATP (ADSL) will remain available. LLU-MPF also cannot be ordered in an exchange area after copper stop sell.

      In theory CPs using LLU-MPF could offer traditional analogue phone lines in areas not affected by copper stop sell after WLR withdrawal in 2025 – I bet they will take advantage of all of the publicity around Openreach’s WLR withdrawal to stop analogue service at the same time though.

    4. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      Thanks for the explanation, but BTOR’s WLR Stop Sell page doesn’t say that. It states that stop sell (presumably for PSTN) starts in November 2023 for Tranche 10 and February 2024 for Tranche 11. i.e. after the stop sell date for the whole country.

    5. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      WLR (PSTN stop-sell) is September 2023.
      All the tranche dates refer copper stop sell (FTTP priority exchanges)

    6. Avatar photo Optimist says:

      The witcher:
      Thank you for your explanation. The problem is that https://www.openreach.co.uk/cpportal/products/the-all-ip-programme/stopsell-updates does not make it clear that “FTTP priority exchanges” = “copper stop sell”. Openreach should review documents before publication to make sure they are comprehensible to non-experts.

  7. Avatar photo Stephen Hicks says:

    In short the property at the end of my drive which is 1/2 long is getting FTTP, unfortunately I’m stuck with a speed of around 4.

    I have contacted several companies to install FTTP for me but there is a minimum of 2 properties needed, and as I’m on my own surrounded by fields so that option is out, I’ve even seen my MP who contacted Openreach who refused to install, so I offered to dig the 1/2 myself and they still said no.

    Mobile Internet is a no as I’m surrounded by trees and in a dip.

    Openreach did say we’ve done this that and so on, in other words ‘aren’t we amazing’

    1. Avatar photo Rob says:

      Do you mean half a mile? If so you’d need the network building closer to you with a cbt built nearer to your property, so not just the simple last drop from the cbt hence the reluctance from OR or anyone else.

  8. Avatar photo Stephen Hicks says:

    Yes my drive is half a mile long.

    So what’s your thoughts for ne to have a better Internet service.

    4G is also rubbish here

    1. Avatar photo Pete says:

      Elons Starlink.

  9. Avatar photo John Clegg says:

    I have FTTP broadband and I would be happy to switch, but I have never been offered it. Is there some magic way to initiate a swap?

  10. Avatar photo rob says:

    no plans for FTTP by Openreach in the part of Leicester I live in, cityfibre can install FTTP, Openreach is clue less if cityfibre can do it

  11. Avatar photo Gary says:

    I’m surrounded by FTTP but as my road has buried (not ducted) telephone cables OpenReach have ignored us. Not in plan either. A single pole would activate the whole street. Instead I get directed to FTTPoD where I can pay 1.5K for my own duct and works to install. G.Fast has been withdrawn so I’m paying a fortune for being out of contract as I can’t move to new G.Fast either.
    Definitely a lottery on who gets service.

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