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Openreach kicks off its rollout of FTTP broadband for businesses

Wednesday, June 15th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Businesses in Bath, Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford will be among the first to benefit from Openreach’s latest rollout of fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband.

SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Westminster, Holborn and the City of London will also be included in the initial deployment.

The rollout, which will give businesses access to speeds up to 1Gbps, will focus on SMEs in high streets, science and business parks – and clusters of businesses not already able to access fibre broadband from Openreach.

Thousands of homes in the targeted areas will also eventually benefit from the scheme.

Openreach says more than 300,000 homes and businesses already have access to FTTP through its network.

The network provider is planning to expand that footprint significantly in the next few years.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: “Our aim is to make ultrafast broadband available to 12m homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

“SMEs have told us they want an alternative to dedicated lines and that is what we are going to give them.

“Openreach has been trialling new deployment methods for FTTP in Bradford and I am pleased to say the trials have progressed very well.

“Now that we have proved the new techniques we will begin our wider roll-out, starting with these nine new locations.”

'Targeted approach'

Mr Selley said the expansion would help plug some of the fibre broadband gaps left by the national rollout of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband.

“This targeted approach will help to deliver the ambition we share with government to improve broadband speeds in the final 5% of the country,” he said.

Openreach said the areas chosen for the first phase of deployment have strong science and technology sectors, such as the Bristol and Bath technology hub, and cities “integral to the Northern Powerhouse”.

Openreach has been trialling new FTTP deployment methods in parts of Bradford, aimed at delivering the technology faster and more efficiently.

It has also been trialling G.fast, which uses a combination of fibre optic cables and copper wires to deliver speeds up to 330Mbps.

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