Openreach owns and maintains almost all of the infrastructure that allows British homes and business to have access to telephone and internet services. Following a lengthy process started in 2015, it became a completely separate business in the BT group instead of a subsidiary in order to open up competition.
In one of the biggest announcements to come out of Openreach since the split they have opened up discussions that aim to finally get super-fast fibre broadband into over 10 million homes by 2025. Did you know that only 3% of all homes in Britain have access to the full fibre services currently available?
The discussions appear to be a U-Turn on the statements made while Openreach was a part of BT itself which said that delivering fibre to the premises (or FTTP) was not feasible for a large proportion of the population due to the expense. Now Clive Selley has announced the costs of delivering a full fibre service have drastically dropped thanks to advances in the techniques used by Openreach.
At the moment, most people who have a fibre broadband service actually receive what is known as fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). This means the cabinet in the street will receive the internet connection via a fibre connection but will then switch to a copper connection in order to make the final journey between cabinet and the property. This means that those who are further from the cabinet will generally experience poorer speeds than others due to the degradation of the signal as it travels down the copper wire.
A wonderful feature of a FTTP connection is the download speeds that are possible. Of course, a connection with a faster will be more expensive but on fibre, it is possible to connect to a service with a download speed of 1Gbps. With those speeds you can download HD content in a fraction of the time most people can currently download an MP3 in.
Openreach are hoping that these discussions will highlight the true demand for the service due to the heavy investment that will be required to roll it out. They are looking for any feedback, comments and views to be sent to them by the end of September. Following this a case will be built to either go forward with or put a halt to the plans.
Fingers crossed there is a demand and we will soon be able to download our favourite HD TV shows in less than 5 seconds.