Openreach (BT) has called on Scottish property developers to ensure they adopt “full fibre” ultrafast broadband ISP technology, which comes after it claimed that around 3,000 new properties a year (roughly 13% of the total across Scotland) are “currently missing out” on deploying their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP).
Last month we revealed that approximately 1 million UK plots via 14,000 different developers have so far been contracted with Openreach to deliver “fibre broadband” since February 2016 and 840,000 of those will be done using FTTP technology (here). The proportion of change is also rising, with 88% out of 240,000 contracted plots over the past 12 months now opting for FTTP (11% FTTC and under 1% pure copper).
All of this is roughly in keeping with the increasing moves toward FTTP that are being seen across the wider market for new build homes (here). We should add that various other operators (Virgin Media, GTC / OFNL etc.) are helping to facilitate this effort and the 13% figure seems to reflect those new homes that haven’t signed up with Openreach for FTTP.
Nevertheless Openreach are keen to push their own FTTP products and so last Thursday they invited more than 60 Scottish homebuilders to a conference at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh to discuss the issue.
Matthew Kirkman, Openreach’s Director of Infrastructure Solutions, said:
“Full fibre is the future. Scotland’s digital journey from copper to full fibre will take years, with the UK government having an ambition for everywhere to have access by 2033.
Developers building entirely new housing have a great opportunity to be right at the forefront. Many are already on board, with around 87 per cent of new homes in Scotland signing up with us for full fibre. The remainder are split between a superfast service via Fibre to the Cabinet, or copper.
We believe we can do better, and that’s why we’ve organised today’s event. We want to build closer relationships with Scottish developers large and small, and show how we can help them create future-proof networks in their new developments – and why it matters.
Research from the London School of Economics has shown that the standard of connectivity has a direct impact on house pricing, so building reliable, ultrafast connections in new developments is a no-brainer.
We want to see full fibre installed in all new developments, and all residents having access to a competitive retail market through our open network.”
Openreach currently offers all new developments of 30 or more homes the ability get FTTP built for free, while smaller developments of less than 30 homes (i.e. between 2 to 29 properties) can also benefit from a significantly discounted install (here).
Meanwhile forthcoming new laws will aim to mandate Gigabit capable broadband connections for new build homes and could make it easier for network operators to access buildings where landlords fail to respond (here).