Openreach saves £10m with new Full Fibre network

UK’s largest wholesale broadband network, Openreach will roll out its new full Fibre technology which has helped save £10 million in build costs in the last year extending the network to remote communities that were previously out of commercial reach.

The BT company is deploying ‘SHE’ (Subtended Headend) where new fibre-optic cables can be built out from specially-adapted existing green roadside cabinets. Ultrafast broadband optical signal boosting equipment, normally housed in a main exchange building, is installed at the cabinet.

Openreach engineers have now deployed around 100 individual ‘SHEs’, across the UK, connecting up around 160,000 homes and businesses.

According to Openreach, the new Full Fibre cables can be extended three times their normal reach, over 200km, with the capacity to connect up to a thousand additional homes and businesses from a single ‘SHE’ location, while cutting up to six months in build time and the costs involved in deploying new fibre cables or ‘spines’ all the way from an exchange to a property.

The technology can also be installed the same way in small remote exchange buildings that are served by a main exchange.

Openreach’s chief engineer, Andy Whale, said: “Openreach has a strong track record of investing more than any other company into rural broadband upgrades. We’re rolling out Full Fibre to reach 25m homes and businesses and a quarter of that – around 6m premises – will be in the hardest to reach third of the country.

“We’ve already built Full Fibre to around half of those harder to reach homes and businesses and this innovation is helping us to build faster and further into these more remote  parts the country – especially in more rural areas,  on a very large scale but more efficiently and at a much lower cost.”

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