“Unlike the move to digital TV, the process of upgrading broadband connections to ‘full fibre’ will require physical fibre connections to be made to individual premises, and involve significant investment from Openreach and support from Communications Providers,” explained Richard Allwood, chief strategy officer, Openreach. Allwood said the transition would deliver huge benefits to the industry and the UK as a whole.
Key questions include how Openreach should build the new network and how that would then be integrated into the existing Openreach network. There is also the question of how Britain’s copper network might eventually be retired. One of the suggestions is to upgrade the vast majority of customers voluntarily, while developing a process to bring on late adopters.
Openreach says that agreeing an approach to the upgrade process is a key part in reaching the Government’s aim of nationwide fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network by 2033.
It’s anticipated FTTP broadband technology will be available to three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020. This will then be extended to at least 10 million premises.