Openreach details steps to upgrade UK analogue phone network

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Access network division of BT Group, Openreach has revealed its next steps for upgrading the UK’s old analogue phone network to a new digital 'All-IP' world.

The company is planning to stop selling its legacy analogue services in more than 100 locations across the UK, covering around 1.2m premises, and instead focus on providing people with a full-fibre connection that can deliver new digital services over the top.

A company statement said: ‘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 the accelerated build plan which has meant that we can bring forward our migration efforts to selected exchange areas.’

Full fibre or fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology will be available to more than 75 per cent of homes in these locations by June 2021. Openreach believes that ‘it makes no sense - both operationally and commercially, to keep the old and new network running side-by-side.’  

The decision builds on trials in Mildenhall and Salisbury – launched last year – to develop and test the ways customers are upgraded onto new digital products, and the company says it has responded to Communication Providers (CPs) who asked for contiguous exchange areas and certainty on our build plan.

In June 2020, Openreach intends to give 12-months' notice that it will no longer be selling copper-based products in 118 exchange areas across the UK.

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