Openreach announces new ultrafast fibre to the premises trial

500 homes in Haydon Wick, Swindon to benefit from ultrafast speeds of up to 300Mbps

Openreach, BT’s local network business, will conduct a new trial of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology in the Haydon Wick development, Swindon this Spring.

The trial will involve building fibre-optic connections direct from the local telephone exchange to around 500 premises in the area. Once complete, residents in the selected trial area will be able to order an ultrafast broadband service with speeds of up to 300Mbps from their chosen service provider.

These ultrafast speeds enable several people to stream high definition films, download music or enjoy online gaming in different parts of the home simultaneously.

The residents of Haydon Wick do not have access to fibre based broadband from any provider at present, but some will gain access to the fastest speeds on offer via Openreach’s open, wholesale fibre network over the next couple of months.

Openreach plans to connect the first customers in Haydon Wick to FTTP by the end of March, with the number of upgraded lines ramping up over the coming weeks and months.

Residents that will be covered by the ultrafast network will receive a flyer to their home this week. More information can be found on the Openreach website at www.openreach.co.uk/ultrafast

Kim Mears, Managing Director, Infrastructure Delivery, Openreach, said: “We’re really excited about the prospect of building an all fibre, ultrafast broadband network to parts of Haydon Wick.

“The development has so far missed out on the benefits of fibre broadband, so I’m very happy to say that some of the locals will have access to some of the fastest speeds available across the whole of the UK from this Spring. What’s more, we’ve committed to leaving the FTTP network in place once the trial has finished, so residents in the trial area can continue to enjoy ultrafast speeds for a long time yet.”

Openreach already has the largest FTTP network in the UK and is increasingly deploying the technology in rural areas under Broadband Delivery UK partnerships with local and national government. Yet the complexities of building fibre connections all the way to people’s homes and businesses make it far more time-consuming and expensive than upgrading street cabinets.

Openreach is keen to learn whether it can overcome some of these challenges so the trial will test a number of new techniques and processes for rolling out FTTP which could, if successful, be used to deploy the technology more quickly and widely to other parts of the UK.

The new trial in Swindon will add to existing ultrafast trials of G.fast and FTTP technologies in Huntingdon, Gosforth and Swansea – all of which are aimed at delivering ultrafast speeds to the majority of the UK by 2025.

More than 220,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses can already place orders for superfast fibre broadband when Openreach’s commercial roll out is combined with BDUK’s Wiltshire Online programme.

Each month during 2015, the fibre roll out has reached on average more than 4,700 additional Wiltshire households and businesses thanks in part to Wiltshire Online which is a partnership between BT, Wiltshire Council and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.