Openreach annual review: Eat fibre and be merry, we fixed the faults before you called

The sun is sunny and the dark fibre access is virtual

Openreach claims it is now more independent of BT than ever before, adding that the UK's fibre rollout is going just fine and all ISPs are now very happy with the BT-owned telecoms infrastructure company.

This was the gist of its first annual review, issued to coincide with yet more central government pledges to extend broadband to every corner of the United Kingdom.

"Our FTTP consultation showed there was broad support for Openreach to start building a large-scale FTTP network in the UK, and it gave us – and BT as our parent – the confidence to accelerate our build plans by 50 per cent, targeting three million premises by the end of 2020."

BT Openreach van

Small UK firms laying fibre put BT's Openreach to shame – report


It also said it had "halted and reversed a six-year rise in the total number of faults on our network. By investing more than £30m into proactive maintenance, we saved 175,000 engineering visits last year..." It went on to congratulate itself for doing what many hardworking Reg readers do every day and "fixing faults before our [CP customers] even reported them to us".

The infraco also says it has refined work on its alternative to giving providers physical access to dark fibre, which it calls Optical Spectrum Access (OSA). Openreach said its OSA product for ISPs, Filter Connect, "offers [telcos] all the key benefits of dark fibre – like the freedom to use their own equipment to control and increase bandwidth usage over our fibres, at no extra cost – but without compromising on the service and maintenance levels we can offer".

Openreach is keen to stress that it is growing in independence from its owner BT, out of which it was spun not so long ago, and says in its report that as a result of that it is "able to discuss and consider new business models, including co-funding opportunities" which could expand the network expansion even further. This appears to be a nod to the increasing number of small firms rolling their own fibre, cutting BT (sorry, Openreach) out of the picture altogether.

It even admits that "in the past we weren't as focused or proactive as we should have been in addressing what's important to our Communications Provider customers," something that will doubtless draw much joyful agreement from telcos such as Cityfibre, which has made no secret of its unhappiness with Openreach, and more recently its ambition to go head-to-head with the former state monopoly.

Openreach said its priorities for the next year would be hiring 3,500 new engineers and training them, as well as continuing to deliver the BDUK broadband rollout programme. In addition, it hopes to meet its contractual minimum service levels (i.e. SLAs with Ofcom) and make repairs 3 per cent more quickly than it does at present. The new universal service obligation means every UK household can request, by law, a 10Mbps broadband service from the end of 2020. ®

Broader topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022