At Openreach we want to improve access to broadband across Britain. We believe this will support economic growth.
Openreach is responsible for providing services over the local loop (sometimes known as the local access network and the last mile). This is made up of the copper and fibre connections between our exchanges, and homes and businesses. We are in charge of BT’s fibre broadband roll-out. We also offer backhaul products to connect exchanges to communications providers’ (CPs’) networks.
BT’s Undertakings commit us to selling our main products and services to all CPs openly and equally and on the same terms as we do to our own lines of business. To make this work properly, Openreach’s operational, engineering and systems capabilities are separate from those of the rest of BT. Around 96 per cent of Openreach revenue is subject to this regulation.
Products and services
Openreach sells three main products: fibre broadband, copper-based services and Ethernet.
This is either FTTC, which offers speeds of up to 80Mbps, or FTTP, which offers faster speeds of up to 330Mbps when fibre is connected all the way to the customer premises.
In April 2013 we launched FTTP-on-Demand, which will initially be available within a subset of the FTTC footprint. It will let end-users in FTTC areas get a FTTP connection if they need one – we think SMEs will be especially interested in the faster speeds.
With our Fibre Voice Access product, CPs can offer voice services over fibre which offer similar functionality to copper voice services.
Our fibre broadband network can also carry broadcast Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services. We have launched a multicast capability which cuts the costs of delivering broadcast TV over our network and means CPs (generally triple play providers) can prioritise broadcast TV over other web traffic.
Passive Infrastructure Access (PIA)
PIA products allow CPs to rent space in Openreach’s ducts or on telegraph poles. CPs can use this space for their own fibre instead of buying fibre-based broadband from us.
Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
WLR lets CPs offer own-branded phone services (with their own pricing and billing) using our equipment and network. They pay to use the copper line between our exchanges and customer premises but can avoid investing in extra network equipment or infrastructure.
Local Loop Unbundling (LLU)
LLU allows CPs to offer DSL-broadband services by installing their own equipment in our exchanges and renting the copper line. CPs can use our shared metallic path facility (SMPF) product to offer broadband over a WLR line or our metallic path facility (MPF) product to offer both phone and broadband services using their own equipment.
Our ethernet products offer dedicated, symmetric, fibre-connectivity. CPs use them in their own networks and to provide high-quality, high- bandwidth services to businesses and the public sector.
For more information, visit the Openreach website.
Openreach business structure