Sluggish broadband? BT unveils 98 new areas for full fiber web. Is YOUR avenue subsequent?
BT’s own Openreach has announced 98 areas across the UK where it plans to switch from aging copper connections to fiber broadband, which will unlock ultra-fast speeds and improve reliability. Openreach has already connected around six million homes in the UK to full fiber broadband (that’s around 47,000 homes connected each week) as part of its plan to upgrade 25 million homes across the UK by December 2026. The upgrade process involves moving from traditional copper landlines to all-glass lines.
Copper is significantly slower than fiber…and the electrical signal (compared to using light signals in a fiber optic cable) degrades exponentially over longer distances. In other words, internet speeds in your home will get worse if your front door is farther from the green closets that Openreach has installed across the country than your neighbor down the street. This isn’t that much of a problem after upgrading to full fiber.
Theoretically, 100Mbps is the maximum you can expect from a copper connection to your nearest exchange. However, this speed is likely to decrease depending on the distance to your door, spikes in demand at peak times, and inclement weather. Fiber broadband has more bandwidth and can deliver download speeds of 1,000 Mbps and more to your home.
As more people work from home, download updates to their gadgets, install smart devices, rely on the internet to make video calls and stay in touch, and binge box sets and watch movies at peak times… households in all of the UK need access to faster speeds. And that’s ahead of the next wave of technology, including streaming video games to your home – as we’re already seeing with xCloud from Microsoft’s Xbox team, virtual reality from Facebook, and 8K picture quality, to name a few.
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Upgrading to full fiber is not a quick process. Openreach engineers must slowly install new fiber optic cables, and only when three quarters of residents in an area can access the next-generation technology will the team attempt to move away from copper-based phone lines. It can often take around two years after the first cable has been laid before the copper can be completely switched off, since many customers do not regularly upgrade their broadband connection.
According to broadband-obsessed blog ISPreview, which is closely following the ongoing full-fiber broadband upgrade, the next 98 areas identified by Openreach for this upgrade process are as follows…
Aberdeen Balgownie in Aberdeen, Aldridge, Alfreton, Allesley in Coventry, Ardrossan in Saltcoats, Aviemore, Balham in South London, Bamber Bridge, Barrhead, Beith, Biggin Hill in Bromley, Boston Spa, Brighouse, Broadwell in Oldbury, Burnley, Burton Joyce, Bury in Greater Manchester, Chellaston in Derby, Childrey, Cleckheaton, Creaton, Dalkeith, Dawlish, Dunloy in Ballymena, Duston in Northampton, Earby, Easingwold, Exhall in Coventry, Feeny in Londonderry, Foleshill in Coventry, Gowerton, Grove Park in Lewisham, Guiseley , Harrold in Bedford, Hayes Common in Bromley, Hemsworth, Herongate in West Horndon, Heysham, Highworth, Horwich in Greater Manchester, Hoylake, Huyton in Liverpool, Hyde in Greater Manchester, Intake in Sheffield, Irby in Heswall, Irvinestown in Enniskillen, Ivybridge , Kilbirnie, Killleavy in Newry, Kircubbin in Newtownards, Kislingbury in Bugbrooke, Laindon in Basildon, Langford, Langley Mill in Heanor, Leigh in Greater Manchester, Fife in Leven, Leyland, Llandaff in CA rdiff, Lowdham, Magor at Undy, Mayobridge at Newry, Maze at Lisburn, Milnsbridge at Huddersfield, Morecambe, Moy at Dungannon, Mulbarton, Ormskirk, Otley, Park Street at How Wood, Plymouth, Portglenone at Ballymena, Rainham at Gillingham (Kent) , Rawdon in Yeadon, Redbourn, Rhiwderin in Newport, Rhoose, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Ripley, Roade, Rushden, Sandwich, Shipley, Sion Mills in Strabane, Sketty in Swansea, Sleaford, Somersham in Huntingdonshire, Stanford Le Hope, Stonyburn in Bents , Takeley, Theydon Bois, Tipton, Troon, Turvey, WaterHayes Farm in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Wheathampstead, Whitchurch in Bristol, Wootton Bassett and Wraysbury.