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Broadband Fibre Rollout is Massive Civil Engineering Exercise

BT’s broadband fibre rollout has attracted unprecedented interest and huge levels of disappointment.

Fibre dig in Newark Notts

A few recent events have brought home the enormity of the task of rolling out broadband fibre to every premises in the UK. Firstly the pigeon stunt of last month. I drove for miles looking for Furrows Farm, passing farmhouses half a mile apart on the way. Clearly not an economic prospect that passes normal business case rules.

Secondly in producing the FTTC postcode level map last week it was difficult not to notice the sheer number of cabinets involved and the areas that BT needs to cover to accomplish the rollout.

Then also last week BT sent a digger to dig up 300 metres of road at the end of our office drive. Funnily enough it was my fault as I had ordered additional fibre connectivity and the existing ducts were congested. The point is the installation of these ducts involved two blokes and a digger for quite a few days. And that was before the fibre team got involved.

It is easy to see why BT hasn’t gone all out to fibre enable the whole country. Incidentally the FTTC programme has attracted unprecedented interest and huge levels of disappointment as people find that their neighbours can get the service but not them.

The pronouncement on duct and pole sharing last week by Ofcom made it easier for competing operators to roll out alternative services but it is still going to be an enormous task.

P.S. The digger driver was very wary of me taking a photo – he thought I was up to something. He also had to keep moving out of the way as traffic came and went which must have been a bit annoying for him 🙂

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

One reply on “Broadband Fibre Rollout is Massive Civil Engineering Exercise”

I have been asking about the cost and complexities of FTTP installations for a while.

I have seen Openreach installing fibre in two places recently, both have encountered blocked ducts. Interesting.

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