Openreach announced an extension to its ultrafast broadband footprint with a plan to make faster, more reliable services available to just over a million homes and businesses in a further 81 locations across the country.
London, Leicester, Manchester, Worthing, Stoke, Birmingham, and Blackpool, are amongst the 81 locations which make up the next phase of the Openreach build programme – over the next nine months - adding to more than 250 locations where the technology has already been deployed.
The new Gfast network builds on existing infrastructure and changes the way broadband signals are transmitted from existing street cabinets to boost speeds up to 330Mbps (seven times today’s UK average), without the need to dig up roads and install new cabling. The increased bandwidth is enough for people to support simultaneous 4K video streams in every room of their house, or to hit download on a film just before leaving home and have it ready to watch on their phone or tablet almost immediately. Gfast is also more reliable than existing technology, using special software that can detect and manage service-affecting issues as soon as they occur.
Ultrafast broadband speeds can be delivered using both Gfast and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technologies, and this latest announcement complements a wider investment programme in future-proof FTTP networks, which is on track to reach three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020.
The business plans to reach a total of 5.7 million properties using Gfast, and also wants to extend its FTTP rollout to 10 million premises by the mid-2020s if the conditions are right to invest.