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The Great British Switch Off – What is happening & when?

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UPDATE:

July 2021 – by Grant Counsell, Incom-CNS Group Sales Director

At the end of June 2021, Openreach issued a ‘stop sell’ notice for copper-based services on the following tranche of telephone exchanges across the UK:

ExchangeLocationImplementation Date
BallysillanBelfast29-Jun-21
CregaghBelfast29-Jun-21
FortwilliamBelfast29-Jun-21
KnockBelfast29-Jun-21
BeaconBirmingham29-Jun-21
HighburyBirmingham29-Jun-21
SheldonBirmingham29-Jun-21
StechfordBirmingham29-Jun-21
StreetlyBirmingham29-Jun-21
DeddingtonCherwell29-Jun-21
CorstorphineCity of Edinburgh29-Jun-21
CaerwrleFlintshire29-Jun-21
Kenton RoadGreater London29-Jun-21

Whilst this is all part of Openreach’s plan to move the UK to ‘full fibre’, it seems to have driven a deluge of quite forceful and scary sounding, emails from our competitors, all along the same lines – act NOW or services to your business may be disrupted.

Whilst I agree that making a plan and acting upon the changes is better done sooner rather than later, there is no cause for panic as it will be a few years yet before current services are affected. My aim here is to explain what Openreach are doing, and the impact on services, in an attempt to cut through the misinformation and provide a realistic and rational point of view from within the industry.

Upcoming stop sells

The next, and largest group of stop sells will come into effect on 5th October 2021, covering exchanges in these geographic areas:

Antrim & Newtownabbey
Armagh
Aylesbury Vale
Basildon
Basingstoke & Deane
Belfast
Birmingham
Brentwood
Bromsgrove
Cardiff
Central Bedfordshire
Chelmsford
Cheshire East
Cheshire West & Chester
Chichester
City of Edinburgh
Cornwall
Coventry
Craigavon
Denbighshire
Derby
Doncaster
Dumfries & Galloway

East Ayrshire
Eilean Siar
Elmbridge
Epsom & Ewell
Exeter
Flintshire
Forest Heath
Gedling
Greater London
Greater Manchester
Gwynedd
Herefordshire
Highland
Isle of Anglesey
Kirklees
Leeds
Liverpool
Mid Devon
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newtownards & Bangor
North Ayrshire
North Lincolnshire
North Tyneside
Northern Ireland

Northumberland
Nottingham
Preston
Reigate & Banstead
Ribble Valley
Rushcliffe
Scottish Borders
Sefton
Selby
Solihull
South Cambridgeshire
South Lakeland
Suffolk Coastal
Swansea
Swindon
Thanet
Three Rivers
Vale of Glamorgan
West Lancashire
West Lothian
Wirral
Wrexham

Please contact the Incom-CNS team with any questions or queries regarding what impact these changes will have on your business communications, we will be happy to help.

Telephone: 0161 788 0000
Email: sales@incom.co.uk

Background

Openreach announced in 2018 that the UK would become ‘fully fibre’, with a plan to switch off all copper-based connectivity by 31st December 2025.

Since then, they have announced pilot areas in Mildenhall and Salisbury and recruited 5,000 engineers to upgrade the network. Subsequently, we have seen new data access products become available in different areas across the country, giving customers access to higher bandwidth products and/or different copper-based products that prepare the way for full fibre.

Here’s how it works:

  • When 75% of an exchange area can access Full Fibre, Openreach will announce a ‘stop sell’ of copper-based products
  • A stop sell notice is a warning that Openreach will no longer allow the ordering, change or upgrade of copper-based products after a fixed 12 month period
  • Stop sells cover any product based on copper wires and will include analogue lines, ISDN lines, ADSL, FTTC and GFast products – including any changes and upgrades to these services
  • From now until September 2022 a roll out of exchanges will have stop sell notices issued
  • By September 2023, the plan is that no copper-based product will be available to order

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