UK fibre broadband is getting a killer upgrade — here's when it's coming

Fiber broadband
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The state of the U.K.’s internet infrastructure could always be improved, so it’s good to hear about Openreach announcing all the new things it’s doing to try and boost broadband speeds across the nation.

The latest announcement has revealed 51 new locations across the U.K. that will be moving away from the analogue copper-wire system onto one powered by fibre-optic cables.

Originally, Openreach announced that 118 UK exchanges would be migrated from the old analogue systems by June 2021, and this extra 51 can expect upgrades to be completed by October of next year. That covers an extra 510,000 premises, bringing the grand total up to 1.8 million by the time everything is done.

These works will see upgraded areas receive over 75% Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) coverage, as well as a migration of the old analogue phone services onto a fibre-compatible IP technology. The important part is that living in an upgraded area means you’d be able to get faster broadband speeds; assuming your internet isn’t with Virgin which uses its own fibre network instead of Openreach cables.

“We’re stepping up our plans to stop selling our legacy analogue services and instead focus on providing people with a modern, future proof full-fibre connection that can deliver all manner of new digital services over the top," Mark Logan, Openreach’s director of products explained. 

"Our recently updated target to build full-fibre broadband to 4.5m homes and businesses by end of March 2021 (up from 4m) is part of our accelerated build plan and has enabled migration efforts to also be brought forward." 

Logan went on to explain that it makes no sense for older networks to be left running side-by-side with the newer ones, hence the big FTTP target. 

Following on from these upgrades, Openreach’s long term plans are to migrate all voice services to fibre by December 2025, followed by a complete switch-off of the copper network in favour of complete FTTP coverage. That last one is still a way off at the moment, and Openreach hasn’t revealed when it expects that to have happened by.

But if you live in one of these places you can expect a broadband boost by this time next year. And plenty of roadworks in the interim.

For steaming and gaming fan, a boost in broadband is likely to to be very much appreciated, aseptically as we move towards the holiday season. roxburn, Capheaton, Cardinham, Caxton, Cheylesmore, Doncaster, Doncaster North, Duffon Diffeth, Eastham, Edwalton, Glendale, Halkyn, Hartburn, Haydon Wick, Hepple, Heriot, How Caple, Ilford North, Lillingstonedayrell, Linstead, Llanfaethlu, Longridge, Lurgan, Mountwood, Newtonwards, Orpington, Penzance, Portadown, Rickmansworth, Saxmundham, Stanecastle, Tadcaster, Thames Ditton, Thamesmead, Thornton Heath, Waterloo (Sefton), Waternish, Wickford, Winteron, Wollaton, Woodgate, Wythenshaw, and Zelah. 

For steaming and gaming fans, a boost in broadband is likely to to be very much appreciated, aseptically as we move towards the holiday season. 

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.