Openreach provides the vital infrastructure that is the foundation of the UK’s vibrant internet economy.
We’re responsible for providing services over the local access network, sometimes referred to as ‘the last mile’. This consists of the copper and fibre connections between our exchanges to homes and businesses. More than 580 service providers use our network to deliver services ranging from telephony, broadband and television for the home, to high-speed data connections for businesses of all sizes.
We’ve invested billions of pounds over the last decade in our network, allowing us to deliver one of the fastest fibre rollouts in the world. As of March 31st 2017 we now pass more than 26.5 million premises with 7.7 million customers connected to our network via multiple service providers. As of March 31st 2017, ninety-two per cent of the UK now has access to superfast broadband across all networks.
We’re now working to take the UK from a Superfast to an Ultrafast nation, with plans to make Ultrafast speeds available to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020 through a mix of G.fast and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technologies.
We’re also developing and trailing an exciting piece of British technology called Long Reach VDSL with other communications providers. Long Reach VDSL has the potential to reach the final few per cent of the UK who can’t currently enjoy superfast broadband. The trials have been very encouraging, demonstrating radically improved speeds to homes as far as two miles from a street cabinet.
How we’re doing
Revenue was broadly flat in year ending March 31st 2017. Regulatory price reductions had a negative impact of around £60m, or 5%, of revenue in the quarter and around £230m, or 5%. The impact of regulation in the quarter was offset by 39% growth in fibre broadband revenue.
Providing better service is our number one priority. We’ve recruited more than 1,500 people, including around 250 apprentices and graduates in 2016/17, taking the total to more than 5,000 apprentices over the last three years.
We’ve exceeded all 40 of Ofcom's copper minimum service levels (MSLs) for the past three years and remain ahead of the other 20 which are measured to March 2018. Ofcom added six new Ethernet MSLs in May 2016 and we achieved five of these. We also halved the number of missed appointments which Openreach is responsible for by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.
In Q4 2016/17 the number of fibre broadband users on our network rose by 520,000, 59 per cent of which were from external service providers.
For more information, visit the Openreach website.