New Digital Maps of Openreach to help other providers build their networks

Thursday, February 9th 2017

Openreach which builds the infrastructure primarily for BT, will help other broadband providers to plan and execute their own fibre networks. The tool offers an interactive view and comprehensive map of the millions of miles of ducting underground, cable chambers and telephone poles, that make up the network, across the country, for Openreach.

The mapping tool will help rival providers like TalkTalk or Sky, to build or expand their networks making use of existing infrastructure, eliminating the need for them to request for diagrams and static records from Openreach, when seeking permission to execute work, or while planning their network expansion. In the coming months, more tools will be added. One is that which shows how much capacity is available in each duct and areas reserved for other companies to build their network.

In January, Openreach launched a duct and pole sharing process that it had trialled in a simplified manner with five of the communication providers earlier. Last year Ofcom announced that Openreach should make it easier for rival companies interested to build on its network. This is also part of its plan to make the infrastructure company legally separated from BT and to appoint its own board. The company also had to repair faults and make new installation of lines quicker. The new digital mapping tool of Openreach is a move in this direction that the regulator had indicated.

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