Openreach full fibre broadband reaches 13.8 million premises

16 May 2024 13:19   By Lyndsey Burton

Results for the financial year 2024 show Openreach FTTP increased footprint by 3.5m to 13.8m.

BT Group's financial results for the year to 31 March 2024 (FY24) show a current full fibre to the premises (FTTP) build rate of 78,000 a week, bringing their footprint to 13.812 million.

In addition, the provider is also achieving a strong take-up rate, with 34% of premises passed adopting the faster broadband technology through Openreach.

The report also mentions BT's move to a pounds and pence annual price rise, moving away from the inflation-linked rises that put prices up by 7.9% in April 2024.

openreach van
Credit: Peter_Fleming/

Full fibre build

Openreach has now passed 13.812 million premises according to their 2024 financial results, and are now building 78,000 new connections a week, up from 62,000 at the end of 2022.

The network operator passed 1 million premises in the last quarter of their FY24, giving them a total full fibre footprint of 13,812,000.

BT Group's FY24 report confirms the operators target to reach 25 million premises by the end of 2026 is on target.

However, they also mention a greater target of 30 million premises against their FY28-FY30 report, which would mean all existing superfast connections had been upgraded to ultrafast FTTP.


While a focus on building has seen other independent full fibre networks struggling to achieve a sustainable take-up rate, with some providers even pausing new builds entirely, Openreach increased their take-up rate to 34%, adding 397k FTTP customers in Q4 FY24.

Total premises connected to Openreach full fibre now stands at 4.8 million, although retail customers make up just 2.6 million of that.

BT Group affirm targets on take-up sit at 40-55% and 6.5 - 8.5 million respectively, and although these figures are tied to 2028 - 2030 based reports they're seeing a year-on-year growth of 20% for full fibre orders.

It's interesting to note that strategic consultancy firm EightAdvisory, recently published a report looking at what smaller alt-nets could do to improve their penetration of the UK broadband market, and highlighting the difference in take-up being achieved by Openreach - that it is double the typical alt-net take-up rate of 16%.

BT Group pricing

From a consumer perspective, BT Group's report also mentions their move to a pounds and pence annual price rise policy, based on recommendations from industry regulator Ofcom.

BT first announced their move to pounds and pence rises in January 2024, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) confirmed the provider's upcoming inflation-linked rises would be 7.9%.

Price increases have been suggested to be £3 for broadband and £1.50 for mobile contracts, but this actually amounts to an 8.57% increase on an average broadband bill of £35.

A final decision on Ofcom's proposal is due shortly, however, it's unclear whether the regulator intended to allow for, what will be, above inflation rises, with CPI now at 3.2% and having a Government target of just 2%.

The spike in inflation between 2021 and 2023, when CPI increased from 0.4% in February 2021 to a peak of 11.1% in October 2022, pushed some broadband bills up by as much as 14.4%, prompting Ofcom to act on price rise regulation that had allowed for contractual above inflation price rises.

Yet, moving on the issue after a period of high costs could well result in above inflation price rises still being allowed under the guise of increased transparency.

It's also worth noting that while retail prices would come under any new regulation from Ofcom, wholesale pricing is not currently being reviewed. This means, as previously pointed out by TalkTalk, Openreach pricing would remain tied to CPI - putting up the price of supply for other retail broadband providers on an inflationary basis each year.


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