Network infrastructure provider Openreach has laid out its plans for the rollout of gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband over the next 18 months, which will see the technology brought to 29 new towns, cities and boroughs around the UK.

The latest announcement takes the number of locations confirmed to receive this connectivity to 103 and will further the company’s aim of reaching four million homes and businesses with FTTP by March 2021.

It also marks the first time Openreach has published its plans beyond the next 12 months, with the firm’s website set to offer details including the specific exchanges where FTTP is currently being built, where the technology has already been installed, and where work will start within the next three months. This information will be updated on a quarterly basis.

Chief executive of the firm Clive Selley said: “Full-fibre broadband provides a reliable, future-proof, consistent and dependable service that will be a platform for economic growth and prosperity throughout the UK for decades to come.”

He added the new detail will give stakeholders, including council leaders, town planners and MPs, a more complete picture of where and when the company intends to build. This will help interested parties work together to build as rapidly as possible and encourage people to take up the technology when it arrives.

FTTP is being rolled out across the country and promises to offer homes and businesses a significant boost to their connectivity speed. With speeds of up to 1Gbps currently available, this technology will open up a range of new opportunities for companies, such as the ability to access new online services like cloud computing and videoconferencing, as well as improve their overall efficiency.

Currently, Openreach’s network is adding around 22,000 new premises a week, with the firm aiming to reach 15 million locations by the mid-2020s.

The 29 new locations announced in Openreach’s latest update are Aberdeen; Ayr; Aughton; Bradford; Billericay; Brentwood; Basingstoke; Brighton; Balham; Chorley Wood; Derby; Hatch End; Lichfield; Molesey; Northampton; Newbury; Norwich; Newcastle (NI); Ormskirk; Portrush; Portstewart; Rickmansworth; Royal Tunbridge Wells; Stanecastle; Swindon; Thames Ditton; Tonbridge; Watford; and Wickford. 

Work will begin in each of these locations within the next 18 months.

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