Openreach has revealed the first nine locations that will benefit from a new Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) product specifically designed for SMEs, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The roll out forms part of Openreach’s wider plan to make ultrafast broadband available – via FTTP and G.Fast technology – to up to one million businesses by the end of 2020.
The deployment will be focused on SMEs located in high streets, science and business parks and clusters of businesses that don’t have access to fibre broadband from Openreach today.
The first areas to benefit include parts of Bath, Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford – as well as Westminster, Holborn and the City in London. The new network will be rolled out over the course of the next nine months, with communications providers able to offer ultrafast speeds to businesses from the end of December. Further deployment phases will then follow, with hundreds of thousands of businesses benefiting from this FTTP roll out by the end of 2020.
Businesses can currently access ultra-fast speeds via dedicated lines but these services are best suited to larger businesses. The new FTTP product will provide an alternative for SMEs who may want ultra-fast speeds at a lower price point.
Openreach will continue to consult with industry as it develops the product and pricing. It will also seek feedback from industry on the likely demand before confirming which specific areas will benefit from this phase of deployment. This approach will enable Openreach to identify areas that may not have access to its existing fibre services and where demand could be strongest.
Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said: “Our aim is to make ultrafast broadband available to 12 million 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.
“Hundreds of thousands of consumers will also benefit over the next few years as we continue our work to plug any remaining fibre broadband gaps. This targeted approach will help to deliver the ambition we share with government to improve broadband speeds in the final five per cent of the country.”
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