Openreach to invest in CommScope for UK fibre network build

Created June 23, 2021
News and Business

BT spin-off Openreach is investing in CommScope to provide new technology as it ramps up its build of the Full Fibre network. As part of the Openreach collaboration, approximately 30-50 manufacturing engineers will be hired by CommScope in Rhyl, North 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. 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.

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, which is around 75,000 per week, 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,” 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.”

In April 2021, Openreach announced a strategic collaboration with digital network integrator STL for the supply of optical cable solutions for a ‘Full Fibre’ broadband network. Earlier in the year, Openreach and Canadian test and monitoring specialist EXFO announced their intention to collaborate on a major initiative to accelerate full fibre deployment, and enhance the quality of build and experience for Openreach’s UK customers.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.