CommScope today announced that Openreach, the United Kingdom’s (UK) largest digital network business, is investing in the global network connectivity leader to provide new innovative technology as it ramps up its build of the Full Fibre network.
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New Rhyl-based Jobs Vital to Speeding Up Broadband Upgrades (Photo: Business Wire)
There are many ways of creating a Full Fibre broadband network that will meet the demands of the near future. However, finding the best solution long-term requires a deep understanding of a wide range of parameters, goals and the use of the right tools.
For example, delays in installations usually happen in the last mile. That’s partially because traditional methods of placing and splicing fibre cables take time—especially since splicing requires highly skilled labour, which can be hard to find. Previously, configuration changes could take weeks to complete as specialised crews were required to set up, prepare cables and build splices.
To address these types of challenges faced in the field, CommScope configured the NOVUX platform specifically for Openreach’s build programme. Engineers will have access to NOVUX hardened terminals, designed to enhance health and safety with less time spent on the pole. Site visits can be achieved in a few hours with NOVUX.
As part of the Openreach collaboration, approximately 30-50 manufacturing engineers will be hired by CommScope in Rhyl, Wales. They will assemble connectorised block terminals, the fibre connection point where individual fibres connect to a premise’s main fibre cable. These can be found on top of a telephone pole or within a chamber in the ground.
Openreach is already building Full Fibre faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK, having made the technology available to more than 4.8 million homes and businesses so far.
This partnership highlights just one of a range of innovations and techniques which Openreach uses to deliver world class build costs, whilst a major investment in 11 new regional training centres is helping to equip and skill thousands of new engineers. As a result, Openreach believes it can build Full Fibre to up to four million rural and urban premises a year (or c.75,000 per week, which is c.15,000 every working day) under its commercial programme.
Kevin Murphy, MD for Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach, said, “Building a new broadband network across the UK is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project – second only to HS2 in terms of investment. It will help level-up the UK because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness, to higher employment and environmental benefits by enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips.
“We place huge importance in our partner network and seek long-term and strategic collaborations. CommScope is a great example of this and this sustained partnership means we can be benefit from its teams’ skills and innovation to help us build Full Fibre even further. We’re also delighted that CommScope share our belief in investing locally and the NOVUX technology manufactured in Wales will empower our engineers to overcome complex engineering challenges across the UK.”
“This initiative is an important part of the UK’s future, and we’re proud to be leading the charge with Openreach on their mission to maximise billions in investment in connecting specific local areas with dedicated Full Fibre networks,” said Morgan Kurk, executive vice president, CTO, and segment leader for Broadband Networks at CommScope. “Our combined team of engineers, field technicians and staff are motivated by their role in making a difference to a flourishing start-up business or by ensuring families can stream high band-width content in their homes.”
The announcement comes as Openreach recently updated its build plans to upgrade a further three million more homes and businesses in some of the UK’s hardest-to-serve communities, meaning fewer homes and businesses will require taxpayer subsidies to upgrade.
The company’s updated build plan will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85 per cent of UK by 2025 and it follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group. It means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country.
Home and business owners can always check the very latest availability and plans for their post code using Openreach online fibre checker here www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband.
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CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at www.commscope.com.
Openreach Limited is the UK’s digital network business.
We’re more than 35,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world.
Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.
We work on behalf of more than 665 communications providers like BT, SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Zen, and our broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 31.8m premises.
Over the last decade we’ve invested more than £15 billion into our network and, at more than 190 million kilometres – it’s now long enough to wrap around the world 4,798 times.
Today we’re building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK’s digital platform for decades to come. We’re making progress towards our full fibre optic network target to reach 25 million premises by December 2026. Research shows a nationwide Full Fibre network could potentially provide a £59bn boost to UK productivity.1
To help build the new fibre network and deliver better service across the country – we’ve created and filled more than 9,000 apprenticeship roles in the last two years and we’re recruiting another 1,000 trainee roles in Openreach in 2021.
We’re also building greener – we operate the UK’s second largest commercial fleet and want to help lead the transition to electric vehicles, with a target to transition our fleet to being electric in 2030.
Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed unit of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions. For the year ended 31 March 2021, we reported revenue of £5,244m. For more information, visit www.openreach.co.uk.
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.