25 October 2018

SMEs helping Openreach meet their broadband obligations

Openreach has announced that they will reduce the price of full fibre deployment by 75% for developers delivering fewer than 30 units from November 2018.

The move hopes to encourage developers to choose full fibre, rather than the slower and now dated ADSL/ADSL2+ or VDSL2.

Kim Mears, managing director of strategic infrastructure development, said: “Our new offer provides a low cost option to house builders and we hope it will help encourage the adoption of this future-proof technology across smaller developments so that no-one’s left behind.

“We fully support the Government’s intention to make full fibre broadband mandatory on all new builds and we’re working closely with  the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and house builders on how best to deliver this.”

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the announcement from Openreach and hopes it will build on the promise to ensure it will reach all our communities, including those in rural locations.

While many small builders deliver on infill and small sites within already dense locations, many are based rurally and build close to their head offices. However, due to cost, they often struggle to physically connect their high speed infrastructure with Openreach cabling.

This has seen a growth of partnerships with alternative providers, such as satellite and community broadband. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:

“This is really welcome news and evidence that Openreach are not only listening to the entire house building industry but acting to support high-speed broadband access for all.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, senior policy advisor of the House Builders Association (HBA), added:

“Broadband is not just for playing games, streaming or looking up webpages. It can tackle isolation and loneliness, set up businesses and create new communities. Openreach has a duty to make sure those benefits are available in all locations.”