Openreach (BT) has published the Tranche 9 batch of 65 new UK exchange areas where they plan to move away from copper-based analogue phone (PSTN / WLR etc.) services and on to a new all-IP network, which will also occur once over 75% of premises in an area can get their “ultrafast broadband” (FTTP and G.fast at 300Mbps+).
At present there are two different, albeit closely related, stages to moving away from the old copper line infrastructure. The first starts with the gradual migration of traditional voice (PSTN) services to all-IP technologies (e.g. SOGEA), which is due to complete by December 2025 and is occurring on copper line products (i.e. copper and full fibre ISPs are both introducing digital VoIP style voice solutions for customers).
The second stage involves the ongoing rollout of faster Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure – using light signals via optical fibre, instead of slower electrical signals via copper. Only after this second stage has largely completed in an exchange area can you really start to switch-off copper in favour of fibre, which is a longer process as you have to allow a few years for user migration.
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