BT announces investment to expand fibre broadband rollout in London Borough of Southwark
BT today announced plans for an expansion of high-speed fibre broadband in the London Borough of Southwark.
Openreach, BT’s local network business, will make fibre available to an additional 18,000 localhomes and businesses in the next two years, taking the company’s total coverage for fibre in the borough to more than 101,000 premises.
The new investment in Southwark is part of a city-wide programme that will increase fibre coverage in every London borough. The roll out will increase overall fibre availability across London, taking all networks into account, from around 90 per cent to around 95 per cent of premises. The Openreach fibre network is already the largest in London, covering nearly three million homes and businesses.
BT is spending more than £3 billion on Openreach’s deployment of fibre across the UK, and the work in Southwark is part of an additional £50 million that the company earmarked for UK cities last year.
London is already one of the best connected cities in the world, with every business in the capital able to access speeds of 1Gb/s and above through special high capacity ultrafast dedicated lines. An independent study* already rates London second only to Seoul as the best in the world for broadband quality.
Joe Garner, chief executive of Openreach, said: “Openreach engineers have been working flat out to bring fibre to more than 23 million homes and businesses across the country in record time - and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our investment has helped make the UK’s broadband infrastructure among the best in Europe.
“Installing fibre in urban areas can be challenging, but thanks to new techniques and extra investment we will now be able to reach hundreds of thousands of additional homes and businesses across London.”
Andrew Campling, General Manager for London in BT Group, added: “I’m delighted
that BT is able to make a further investment in fibre broadband within the London Borough of Southwark. Whilst fibre broadband is already available to the vast majority of premises across London, we’ve been exploring options that will enable us to expand our coverage in Southwark, for example by working closely with the council on a trial of new technology in Rotherhithe.Given feedback that we’ve had to date, I’m confident that the residents and businesses in the additional parts of the borough where fibre broadband will now become available will be very pleased.”
BT’s new investment is focusing on three areas:
- Upgrading city cabinets that weren’t part of the original commercial plans due to technical challenges or local planning restrictions
- Rolling out ‘fibre to the remote node’ (FTTRN) and to fibre broadband cabinets that serve multi-dwelling units, such as apartment blocks
- Continuing to ensure the new fibre network is available on an ‘equivalent’ basis to all internet service providers that use the Openreach network. That means companies competing with BT Consumer and BT Business can deliver faster broadband to their customers, paying Openreach the same as BT’s own divisions.
Openreach’s fibre network is open to all broadband service providers on equal terms, ensuring that businesses and consumers benefit from intense competition, a wide choice of supplier and low prices.
*PwC’s “Cities of Opportunity 6” report, page 23
Notes to editors
 Figures based on Ofcom’s “Infrastructure Report 2014” data.
Please note: Openreach’s fibre broadband network will increase to around 90 per cent of premises in London over the next two years. The remainder will be covered by alternative networks. Business grade fibre services are available to 100 per cent of premises in London.
FTTRN involves the fibre optic cable being taken to a significantly smaller remote cabinet and these can be positioned on nearby telegraph poles or inside manholes even closer to homes.