Openreach announces pilot of faster FTTP Broadband ISP speeds in the UK

BT Openreach has announced that it is planning to launch a new pilot which will enable UK ISPs to test faster broadband tiers on its Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.

The operator expects download speeds materially faster than 1Gbps, making it possible for ISPs to market their maximum download speed as gigabit connections. Currently, advertising rules force ISPs to market their services based on Openreach's 1Gbps wholesale product as delivering 900Mbps+. 

As part of the pilot, Openreach will also test a new Optical Network Terminals (ONT) with support for multi-Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) ports, with a maximum rate of 2.5Gbps, and internet service providers be able to test two new speed profiles with download rates of greater than 1Gbps, but less than 2Gbps - likely 1.2Gbps and 1.8Gbps. The pilot will also involve different Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), such as routers, as they will also need to support multi-Gigabit speeds.

Despite faster speeds, Openreach will still be using its existing Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) platform, which means that there will be limitations on how fast its packages can go before they reach capacity as the GPON standard only supports a capacity on each trunk line of up to 2.5Gbps downstream and 1.25Gbps upstream and this will need to be shared between several premises.

According to media reports, Openreach’s pilot of new products is said to be a response to Virgin Media’s near-term plan for faster tiers, as it already has trial speeds of up to 2.2Gbps on its live network.

Openreach’s national full fibre network is currently available to more than 8 million UK premises via multiple retail ISPs. However the operator is aiming to reach 25 million premises by December 2026, which is expected to cost the company up to £15 billion to complete.

The pilot is expected to commence in early December 2022 and is set to take place in Swansea, North Wales.

Contact us

hSo ISO 9001 Seal
hSo ISO 14001 Seal
hSo ISO 20000 Seal
hSo ISO 27001 Seal
Cyber Essentials logo
Internet Service Providers Association logo
Internet Telephony Service Providers Association logo
LINX logo
RIPE logo
AWS Partner Network logo
Microsoft Partner logo
Crown Commercial Service supplier logo