Openreach in MDU Pilot as FTTP Rollout in Salford Tops 45K Premises

indoor fibre optic splice openreach

Openreach (BT) has announced that more than 45,000 premises in Salford (Greater Manchester) can now access their Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network, which has been deployed as part of their work to cover 4 million premises by March 2021 and possibly 15 million by around 2025.

Interestingly the network operator’s announcement states that they “began work to build a new ‘full fibre’ network in February last year,” although this is a little bit confusing since Salford was only officially listed on their forwarding looking commercial rollout plan in late January 2019 (here). We suspect they mean Manchester in general, which was listed in February 2018 (here).

The operator has also been using Salford as part of a new pilot project, which they say aims to help speed-up the delivery of FTTP technology and simplify the way ultrafast broadband is installed in Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs), such as large apartment blocks (buildings), while also minimising disruption to residents. Sadly the announcement contains no details on this pilot and we will update once we have that.

Catherine Colloms, Openreach’s MD of Corporate Affairs, said:

“Salford already has a thriving digital economy with widespread access to highspeed broadband – with around 97 per cent of premises already able to access superfast speeds. A huge of amount of work is currently taking place to take this to the next level, bringing people living and working in Salford an ultrafast network and an even bigger boost to broadband speeds.”

On top of that Openreach’s engineers were also able to showcase the operator’s first social housing MDU to be upgraded with FTTP in the UK as part of their roll-out. Apparently “thousands” more MDUs are now expected to be upgraded by Openreach across the United Kingdom, which may give some competition to Hyperoptic and Community Fibre that are already tackling many similar homes.

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