Openreach – Retiring our copper network

Openreach – Retiring our copper network

The bigger picture of what is happening in the UK’s Telecoms Industry

Openreach are rolling out their Ultrafast full fibre infrastructure to 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026. As exchange areas reach a particular coverage of this service being available then a stop sell of copper based services will be applied to that area. This means that communication providers such as Sky, BT, EE, PlusNet and Talktalk (to name a few) will only be able to offer fibre based products and services. Find out more how Openreach are retiring their copper network at

Virgin Media are also rolling out their own gigabit and full fibre networks along with many AltNets (Alternative Network Providers)

There are three main programmes that go hand in hand in trying to retire the copper infrastructure. They are:

  1. Moving to all IP and VoIP/Internet Based fixed line voice services.
    The current PSTN is becoming very costly, harder to fix and maintain. Moving to All IP and voice services moving to a VoIP/Internet based service will help reduce the cost, future proof maintainability & ease the integrations with modern systems.
  2. Moving to Full Fibre.
    Moving to All IP and VoIP/Internet based voice services is an enabler to the shift to full fibre and the withdrawal of copper products. The government wants 85% by 2026 and 100% nationwide gigabit broadband by 2030.
    You will find over the next 8 years that areas where Fibre to the Cabinet is available will be over built with Full fibre (FTTP) along with those areas that have no fibre today. When full fibre becomes available you will then be encouraged to migrate onto it before potentially a full batch managed migration onto full fibre (FTTP).There’s already trial exchange areas that are currently in the process of withdrawing copper based products completely and as more areas get full fibre available to them there will be a push to move onto it.
  3. Reducing the number of exchanges
    Both points 1 and 2 is therefore an enabler to reduce the number of exchanges.

Below is an infographic to help explain.

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