Openreach have unveiled plans that enables over three million homes in rural areas of the UK to get full fibre broadband. As Openreach extend their gigabit-capable broadband, it is reported that a further 3.21 million properties, spread across 251 market towns and villages will now be able to upgrade to full fibre broadband.
This next step is part of a £12 billion investment by Openreach in which they have already committed to upgrading another 20 million homes by 2025. This latest announcement of a broadband upgrade covers what is known as the ‘final third’ of the country. This covers those areas of the UK that are classed as most at risk of being left behind as the UK moves towards a faster broadband for everyone.
Many of the areas that will be covered in these new areas still only have spotty internet coverage. BT-owned Openreach provide the broadband infrastructure across the UK for most of the well-known broadband suppliers. These more rural areas of the UK have a smaller population and a larger expense to install the new technology, which is why they are in the ‘final third’. It is reported that 2% of properties withing the UK are still unable to access broadband services of 10Mb.
The new locations where a full fibre broadband will be available include Penryn in Cornwall and Thurso in the Scottish Highlands, as just two examples. Works to get a full fibre broadband in these is expected to start in the 12 to 18 months.
The good news for customers is that industry regulator Ofcom have proposed changes to their own rules. These changes will help make the Openreach plans more financially viable for their customers. Ofcom will allow BT to recover their costs of investment from their customers. These costs will be claimed back through a wider range of services which includes the new fibre services and the older coper ones.
You may remember in the last election that a major policy for the Conservatives was to upgrade the broadband in the UK. The Conservative party pledged £5 billion towards the works. The aim was to focus on those less competitive regions. They wanted to deliver a nationwide gigabit broadband service withing 5 years. It is expected that this nationwide4 gigabit broadband service will include 5G as well as fibre. The public money will then come in addition to Openreach’s investment.
Did you know that around 12% of properties in the UK currently have access to full broadband? Meanwhile the UK ranks outside the top 30 for bro0adband speeds worldwide!
Here at Officehost Cloud Solutions we feel that this promised upgrade is long overdue. However, due to more people working from home than ever before, the upgrade is potentially even more urgent now. While it is great news that full fibre broadband will be available to three million rural homes, it is still a way off. In the meantime, if you are out in the country and struggling with a poor internet connection there are some options available. Call us now to find out more.