BT, Sky and TalkTalk customers could get fibre broadband faster than before

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Openreach is poised to kickstart an exciting new trial, dubbed Build to the Wall, to help bring full-fibre broadband connections to your home faster than before. Openreach, which is owned by BT, provides the cable infrastructure for some of the biggest brands, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Vodafone, to name a few.

Changes in how Openreach approaches the installation of new broadband cables will impact a huge number of people – across a variety of different providers. That’s what makes the latest announcement from Openreach so exciting.

Of course, Build to the Wall is only a trial. It’ll need to prove its worth.

According to internet-obsessed blog ISPreview, Build to the Wall is designed to improve the success rate of new full-fibre installations. As it stands, homes not connected to the full-fibre network will need to call-out an engineer to bring the cable from outside into the home, usually by drilling through your wall, connected to the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and linked to your broadband router. Any issues with any step will usually need to be remedied with a second follow-up visit from another engineer.

The latest trial is designed to boost the success rate for new installations by streamlining the process through two separate visits. The first will focus entirely on the outside work, while the second will focus on what needs to be done to bring the full-fibre cable to your new Wi-Fi router.

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Coupled with plans to boost job density in certain geographical areas, it should mean there are more Openreach engineers available to boost the infrastructure roll-out. If the trials work, it could help Openreach expand its network of full-fibre cables, which are designed to replace the ageing copper infrastructure still in-use across the country. Openreach says the trial is expected to run for four weeks, starting August 23, 2021. It will target some 600 residential full-fibre broadband orders.

Openreach has already connected five million homes to its full-fibre cables this week. It says it’s on track to hit 25 million by December 2026.

By comparison, Virgin Media O2 plans to finish connecting 16 million homes to its Gig1, which boasts speeds over 1,000Mbps, by the end of this year.

The company, newly-merged with O2, has spoken about its “ambition to accelerate investments” and connect 7 million more homes to gigabit-capable broadband “in the coming years.” It’s unclear exactly where these homes would be – but it could see smaller towns and villages see these future-proofed connections start to come online.

With millions of people moving away from smaller city-centre apartments for rural homes with gardens, these upgrades could create all-new commuter hubs outside the biggest cities.



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