BT Press Releases

DC12-032                                                                                    January 26, 2012

Openreach ramps up pilot of super-fast fibre to apartments

Residents and Landlords within eligible areas encouraged to register interest as trial is expanded

Residents and landlords of apartment blocks within Openreach’s fibre broadband footprint are being asked to register their interest in a pilot scheme to bring the company’s fastest available broadband speeds to apartments within their building.

Openreach is looking for around 1000 buildings to take part in the pilot. Buildings will need to be located within its existing fibre footprint, and will be chosen according to a combination of registered demand, the co-operation of landlords and the economics of deployment. Technology and network topography factors will also be taken into account.

Participants will gain access to Openreach’s Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology which delivers super-fast broadband speeds. End users will initially have access to downstream speeds of up to 100Mb/s but these will rise to give users the option of up to 300Mb/s in the spring of this year, the fastest commercially available speeds in the UK for a residential connection. Upstream speeds will also be the fastest in the UK.
Openreach has been conducting early trials in areas served by FTTP technology and recently announced its intention to seek registrations of interest from residents and landlords in Canary Wharf.

Identifying the appropriate individuals and companies with the authority to formally grant permission for the apartment blocks can be challenging. By allowing both landlords and residents to register interest, Openreach aims to allow the latter to demonstrate demand for the service and the former to make their building more attractive to future potential residents.

Mike Galvin, Openreach Managing Director for Next Generation Access, said: “We are keen to extend the benefits of our fastest broadband services to those living in apartments. Through our registration scheme customers are clearly showing us they now seek these higher speeds and see the provision of super-fast broadband as a significant benefit. We are factoring customer demand into our future deployment plans but are also keen to partner with landlords and involve them in our plans.”

Openreach is the lead deployment arm of BT’s £2.5bn investment in super-fast fibre broadband , which aims to cover around two-thirds of UK premises with the technology by the end of 2014. There is potential for this footprint to be extended even further with BDUK funding, other public funds and further private-sector investment. Openreach’s fibre network is available to all communications providers on an open wholesale access basis, meaning that residents served by the technology have access to a choice of communications providers.

Residents can register their interest at: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/resident/

Landlords can register their interest at: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/landlord/

About Openreach
Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.