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Openreach Extend FTTP Broadband in Wales to 700,000 Premises

Thursday, Jul 6th, 2023 (3:05 pm) - Score 2,152
rural engineer openreach fttp

Network access provider Openreach (BT) has issued a progress update on their £210m investment (up from £180m in January 2023) to deploy a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across Wales, which reveals that they’ve now covered over 700,000 premises (up from 600k).

The deployment forms part of Openreach’s wider £15bn investment to cover 25 million UK premises (80%+ of the UK) by December 2026, including 6.2 million in rural and semi-rural areas (here). So far the operator has already completed coverage for over 10.3 million premises (3m in the hardest to reach rural areas) and is building across the UK at a rate of c.54,000 premises per week.

NOTE: The operator has a workforce of around 2,300 people in Wales.

The latest milestone, that’s seen more than 200,000 Welsh properties gaining access to ultrafast FTTP broadband in just 12 months, is not the end of the story. More areas are set to benefit, with engineers now starting work to extend the full fibre network even further to most homes and businesses in areas such as Criccieth, Pencoed, Llangennech and Porthmadog.

Most of the rollout in Wales reflects Openreach’s commercial investment, but that has also been complemented by their £52.5m state-aid supported Phase 2 Superfast Cymru contract with the Welsh Government, which may ultimately benefit 39,000 premises once fully completed (here).

Martin Williams, Partnership Director for Openreach in Wales, said:

“Connecting 700,000 properties in Wales with access to full fibre broadband is an incredible achievement that showcases Openreach’s unwavering commitment to building a digitally inclusive nation. Over the last 12 months we’ve been expanding our network to just under 4,000 properties every week. That’s the equivalent of connecting a town the size of Haverfordwest or St Asaph every single week.

To make this happen our engineers are out in all kinds of weather across every part of Wales – both urban and rural – to build a network that is not only essential to the future prosperity of our country enabling businesses to compete globally and individuals to fully harness the benefits of digital services.

It’s worth remembering that upgrades aren’t automatic. People need to place an order with their chosen providers to get connected and we’ll do the rest. Our network offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen Internet – which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.”

However, it’s worth noting that last year’s Public Review of coverage in Wales also identified that a total of 327,174 premises might ultimately need state aid help via the UK Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit scheme in order to access gigabit-capable broadband connections in the future, which rises to 984,806 premises (i.e. an additional 657,632) if you include “Under Review” areas into the total (i.e. planned commercial builds that are potentially at risk of not being completed).

Suffice to say, there’s plenty of work left to do for all operators, particularly Openreach, Netomnia (YouFibre), Virgin Media and Ogi.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
16 Responses
  1. Avatar photo John says:

    Of course as usual outofreach is only interested after alts threaten the monopoly

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Good old competition – does wonders.

    2. Avatar photo Jason says:

      this is like an Openreach bashing website . I actually really enjoy reading all the salty haters . Live in peace

  2. Avatar photo David says:

    What would also be nice if they actual did MDU at the same time! But knowing how perthitic some land lords can be or even absent. It’s not rally that surprising, mind you we’ll probably end up being second class citizens in towns because of it.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Sadly, that’s a common issue, as it always takes longer to tackle MDUs due to the admin and other challenges. New rules do make the process easier, but they’re fairly recent, and so I think operators are still testing the waters.

  3. Avatar photo Ryan says:

    It be nice if they would offer symertical speeds like city fibre and most other alt isps do. Or even if they made the 220 one the common one with the 1 gig package and upgraded it on the other parcages to be in line with that most other eu countries offer symertical speeds as standard now.

    1. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      They won’t because it erodes their EAD product which has a very handsome profit on it.

  4. Avatar photo aw says:

    my half of my street was in-scope to be done by 2025 then a few months ago it was de-scoped and on monday it is back in-scope to be done by 2026

  5. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Should have bring FTTP to Cuckoo Oak. Come on get a grip OR!

    1. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      Wondered when we’d get another Cuckoo Oak comment, Phil. This article is about Wales.

    2. Avatar photo FibreBubble says:

      What part of Wales is Cuckoo Oak?

    3. Avatar photo dee.jay says:

      Telford.

  6. Avatar photo Lein Waters says:

    The roll out is a joke. They installed fibre in my mother’s street on two poles and put the connector terminal on her pole but just left the cable wound up on a rung. It’s been over 6 months now and no sign of getting complete. Also they’ve installed fibre at the bottom of my street but haven’t bothered ip my end.

  7. Avatar photo FFF says:

    A lot of Under Review premises will be neglected around the country. The numbers are very high in comparison to the bduk target contract Project Gigabit premises, typically about double. E.g. the 10 to 20% of some market towns with directly buried cables, which bduk assume will be built commercially due to density. New PG contracts will now extend to 2030, so when will these UR premises be revisited and built, 2035?

    1. Avatar photo NGA for all says:

      Where did your stats for directly buried cable? Can you point to an industry source? Crucial point. Thank you.

  8. Avatar photo David MW0DCM says:

    Ah, OR are in the next valley to us, and I’m sure one heard that Tylorstown in Ferndale is towards Q4 2023? Anything is going to be better then my current flaky aluminium line! Just over the last week I’ve witnessed our line drop almost 10mbps and OR won’t bother fixing it, if only there was a way? I know we’ve got fibre in the next street courtesy of an Openreach project that got so far then got left for some reason a while ago?

    Anyway, Trealaw and I believe Trebanog are currently being setup for FTTP….

    Anyway, to those who have it in the Baskets surrounding me, hope it’s working for you!

Comments are closed

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