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Openreach Nears 1 Million FTTP Broadband Premises in Scotland

Wednesday, Aug 30th, 2023 (11:14 am) - Score 1,224
2023-Openreach-FTTP-Engineer-Close-Up

Network access provider Openreach (BT) has revealed that their 1.8Gbps capable UK Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network now covers a total of 949,000 properties in Scotland (up from 800,000 in mid-March 2023), which is estimated to have cost them around £280m (assumes an average of £300 per premises passed).

The vast majority of their full fibre build in Scotland reflects their own commercial investment, but it should be said that they’re also covering some areas with support from Gigabit Broadband Vouchers and the Scottish Government’s £600m Reaching 100% (R100) project. The latter will ultimately aim to upgrade another 115,000 of Scotland’s hardest-to-reach premises by 2028 (they’ve already delivered 24,194 premises of that target).

NOTE: The operator’s up to £15bn FTTP network currently covers over 11 million UK premises, but they aim to reach 25m by December 2026 (80%+) – including 6.2m in rural areas. Currently building at a rate of 55,000 premises per week.

Some of the latest areas to benefit from Openreach’s wider roll-out include the large North Lanarkshire village of Shotts and the similarly sized Dumfriesshire town of Annan, where work to build the new full fibre network has just begun. Both builds are expected to reach the majority of local homes and businesses over the next 18-24 months. Take-up in Scotland currently sits at around 30% on their new network.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s Partnership Director for Scotland, said:

“[Shotts and Annan are] part of our balanced build across Scotland, which includes more than 200 rural towns and villages. We want to make sure that progress is evenly spread and that people in all parts of Scotland can be online effortlessly and build opportunities in their community. Connecting everyone in Scotland to our fastest and most reliable broadband would result in a multi-billion pound economic boost.”

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear how the UK government’s Project Gigabit funding for Scotland (aka – LOT 39) will be handled, although the first procurements should launch sometime this autumn. Some 447,170 premises across Scotland are currently predicted to need support from public funding to help them gain access to a gigabit-capable (1000Mbps) broadband network (here), which could rise if existing plans (inc. commercial builds) fall short.

Naturally, in order to benefit from the new network, you’ll need to order the service from a supporting ISP like BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Zen Internet, iDNET, AAISP and many more.

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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
4 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

    They’ll need a weekly build rate of almost 81,000 to reach the UK target by the end of 2026.

  2. Avatar photo Kev says:

    Openreach needs to make their mind up regarding where they are going to provide fttp. We received an email a few months back saying our area was being removed from their plans. 3 weeks ago, I get another email saying it’ll be done before 2026! Rant over and out!

  3. Avatar photo Dez says:

    Can get both openreach and cityfibre fttp

    Nice choice for a change.

  4. Avatar photo Un-named source says:

    They are now “rushing” Shotts upgrade because VM went through the place like a dose of salts last year. In the space of about 1.5 months they had gone from zero fibre within 3 miles of the village to fully installed in every street. All new infrastructure and fibre under the pavements in ducts. Suddenly BT had competition in the area and sprang into action.

    Openretch began a crash FTTP upgrade program after that. This comprised of adding a few metal brackets to existing poles to hold the fibre splitters three months after VM had left. Three months after that they added the splitters to the poles. Around a year on and I saw a couple of BT engineers working down a manhole with a fibre broadband banner on their safety barrier today. That might actually be their entire engineering team for the upgrade as I’ve never seen more than 3 working on FTTP at any one time. The other one was probably on holiday.

    In a decade or so I think they might be ready to actually connect a few houses…

Comments are closed

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