Openreach adds 517 locations for full fibre broadband

28 May 2024 12:08   By Lyndsey Burton

2.7 million homes and businesses announced to receive full fibre to the home connections.

Openreach, the wholesale network behind BT, has announced their latest full fibre build plans to cover a further 517 locations across the UK.

400,000 premises will be in hard to reach rural areas, with the rest spread across the UK, including Tobermory in Scotland, Haworth in West Yorkshire, Saundersfoot in South Wales, Pinxton in Derbyshire, Harlow in Essex, Southampton in Hampshire, and Roborough in Devon.

The additional build will help bring Openreach closer to their target of passing 25 million premises by the end of 2026.

openreach van
Credit: Peter_Fleming/

517 new locations

Openreach, owned by the BT Group, has published updated plans to cover 517 new locations across the UK, adding 2.7 million homes and businesses to its full fibre network.

Locations will be passed or upgraded to full fibre to the home, supporting download speeds up to 1.8Gbps, and upload speeds up to 120Mbps.

The exchanges being upgraded span the entirety of the UK, with locations in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

The map below shows areas in green likely to have good full fibre availability either already or in the near future, with areas in blue having been largely built to already:

openreach fttp build uk map

Check availability for full fibre broadband in your area.

Openreach build

The additional 2.7 million build locations are part of Openreach's investment of £15 billion to upgrade its network of copper and fibre to the cabinet broadband to full fibre to the home connections.

Openreach plan to eventually reach 25 million premises by the end of 2026, with a possibility of passing up to 30 million by 2030 if investment remains beneficial.

They're already the largest full fibre to the home network, with over 13.8 million premises already passed, and a current build rate of 78,000 premises a week - keeping them ahead of the competition.

In comparison, Nexfibre, the wholesale network owned by the parent companies of Virgin Media O2, have so far passed 1 million premises with a target of 5 million by the end of 2026. However, Virgin Media have already announced they plan to merge their networks and upgrade their existing 16 million footprint to full fibre by 2028.

Take-up advantages

In addition to a fast roll-out of full fibre broadband, Openreach also show advantages over other independent full fibre networks in terms of their take-up rates.

Openreach currently boast a take-up rate of 34%, with 4.7 million active full fibre customers, around double the average take-up rate of 16% of smaller alternative networks (alt-nets).

This is due in part to their network maturity, as well as their unrivalled position in being resold by household names such as Sky, TalkTalk, and Vodafone, as well as their own retail brands BT, EE and Plusnet.

It's been previously said a take-up rate of 40% will be required by full fibre networks to achieve profitability, which means it's no surprise some networks are pausing build to focus on customer sales, while consultancy firms are producing reports on how alt-nets can improve their market penetration to rival Openreach.


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