Openreach: The full fibre take-up challenge and building networks of the future


At this year’s Connected North conference, we caught up with Matt Hemmings, Managing Director Fibre & Network Delivery at Openreach, to talk about the company’s ongoing fibre rollout and take-up of full fibre services

Fibre is being rolled out across the UK at a blistering speed and, while there is still much work to be done to make this state-of-the-art technology available to all of the country’s citizens, discussions are already beginning to shift towards take-up.

“Building networks is a great way to spend money, but we need people to start using these services if we’re going to make money,” joked Matt Hemmings, Managing Director Fibre & Network Delivery at Openreach.

For Openreach themselves, take-up is progressing nicely, with Hemmings saying the company was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by their progress so far.

“We’ve got ten million [premises] built and we’ve got 30% take-up. So, already we’ve got three million customers using full fibre services on our network. But there’s always more to do,” he said.

But encouraging customers to make the shift to full fibre is not easy. Many customers already incorrectly believe they are receiving full fibre services, in part due to the inconsistent marketing strategies from CSPs. In recent months, Ofcom has launched a consultation into the terminology used by internet providers to promote their services, calling for more uniformity and transparency.

Furthermore, many customers are content with the service they are receiving over their existing fibre-to-the-cabinet network, dismissing the need for a more expensive full fibre service.

But, as Hemmings notes, full fibre is about more than speed, with its added reliability set to be a major differentiator.

“Underlining the resilience that you get from a full fibre future is one of the key things that’s going to incentivise customers to move,” Hemmings explained. “We’re building a network for the future and getting our customers to migrate over to those platforms is key for all of us.”

Check out the full interview with Matt Hemmings from the link below.

Is the UK on track to reach its full fibre ambitions? Join the ecosystem in discussion at this year’s live Connected Britain conference

Also in the news:
ECTA calls on the European Commission to think again
Research claims FTTH reduces internet CO2 emissions by a third
Fibre will underpin our 5G future, says ITS Technology Group at Connected North

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