It looks like Openreach is finally stepping up to the plate with their Gigabit fibre rollout across major cities in the UK, but after years of telling us how hard and expensive it was going to be, is this really the forward-thinking, bold act Openreach are purporting, or simply a reaction to the rollout of Cityfibre across our major cities?
Cityfibre is readily available across the city of Edinburgh and has already allowed us to deliver affordable gigabit connections to a number of our clients, so it will be interesting to see what Openreach's 'full fibre' rollout will add.
If we step back and consider the UK as a whole, then competition in Broadband provision is certainly a double-edged sword. Clearly the Utopian vision would see companies such as Cityfibre and Openreach partnering together to ensure a full fibre delivery to EVERY premises across the UK, rather than duplicating full fibre networks within the same cities. However the ROI of installing a network within a major city, versus a rural village, has a major impact on where they choose to deploy these services.
For those in the major cities, the presence of multiple providers of the same service is certain to drive down costs, and multiple networks certainly helps when building DR (Disaster Recovery) into our solutions.
What will be interesting is the impact on residential customers as Cityfibre is predominantly a business solution in Edinburgh just now. It will be interesting to see how Vodafone's partnership develops in Milton Keynes, and perhaps this is the jolt Openreach needed to drive their full-fibre network on.
"For our vibrant business community, which is known for its innovation, it will mean more firms benefiting from the huge opportunities offered by this exciting technology to attract new customers, provide new services and work more efficiently. "Local households too will find ultrafast broadband a major step forward when they go online for reasons ranging from training and research to shopping, staying in touch with friends and family and entertainment."