BT Group’s Openreach has urged Scottish home developers to ensure that home buyers don’t miss out on ultrafast, full-fibre broadband when they are buying new properties.
At a conference in Edinburgh attended by more than 60 Scottish homebuilders, Openreach revealed that roughly 3,000 new properties a year across Scotland currently lack full-fibre technology. This is equivalent to about 13% of the total new build properties contracting with the digital network operator for communication services.
The company is said to install full-fibre networks without charging any money to all new housing developments of 30 or more homes. Besides, it has reduced prices by more than three quarters for smaller sites, where it plans to co-fund work.
According to the digital network operator, full-fibre technology can enable broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second, which is more than 20 times faster than the present average speeds in the UK.
Openreach infrastructure solutions director Matthew Kirkman said: “Full fibre is the future. Scotland’s digital journey from copper to full fibre will take years, with the UK government having an ambition for everywhere to have access by 2033.
“Developers building entirely new housing have a great opportunity to be right at the forefront. Many are already on board, with around 87 per cent of new homes in Scotland signing up with us for full fibre. The remainder are split between a superfast service via Fibre to the Cabinet, or copper.”
Edinburgh became the first Scottish city and one of the first in the UK to see Openreach’s introduction of full-fibre technology. Currently, more than 30,000 premises in areas such as Abbeyhill, Corstorphine, Roseburn, Murrayfield, Gorgie, Haymarket and Newington are connected with full-fibre technology.
Openreach said that it remains on track to deliver ultrafast services to three million UK premises by the end of 2020 and, subject to right conditions, expand the figure to 10 million by the mid-2020s.
Kirkman said: “Research from the London School of Economics has shown that the standard of connectivity has a direct impact on house pricing, so building reliable, ultrafast connections in new developments is a no-brainer.
“We want to see full fibre installed in all new developments, and all residents having access to a competitive retail market through our open network.”