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EXFO Partners with Openreach for Ground-breaking Full Fibre Initiative

Openreach to deploy permanent Full Fibre monitoring technology to help deliver ultrafast and ultra-reliable broadband to millions of UK homes and businesses.

EXFO, the communications industry’s test, monitoring and analytics experts, and Openreach, the United Kingdom’s largest digital infrastructure firm, announced their collaboration on a major initiative to accelerate Full Fibre deployment, and enhance the quality of build and experience for customers across the UK.

The project is essential for delivering next-generation Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks, which provide the digital infrastructure required to work, learn and socialize. As part of its industry-leading Fibre First programme, Openreach has committed to delivering 20 million homes passed with FTTP by the mid-to late 2020s, assuming it has the right investment conditions. Openreach has also committed to building out this new digital infrastructure to 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021.

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Following a competitive tender process, Openreach has awarded EXFO a contract to supply optical test heads and test access switching for this initiative. With its cloud-based Nova Fiber solution, EXFO will equip Openreach to assure its build, thereby accelerating the programme and avoiding costly return visits to fix connection problems—additional “truck rolls” more than double operators testing costs. Following installation, Openreach will be able to remotely monitor its fibre infrastructure supporting the in-life operations of its Full Fibre service.

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This announcement comes as Openreach hit a record build rate for its Full Fibre broadband programme. Openreach engineers are now delivering faster, more reliable connectivity to another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, or the equivalent of a home every 15 seconds.

Peter Bell, Director, Network Technology, Openreach: “We know that now more than ever that being connected matters. We’re convinced that our new Full Fibre network can play a crucial role in keeping the nation connected. This year, our build has been gathering pace and momentum, and we’re determined to match that rapid speed of deployment with the highest standards of build quality build and customer service.

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EXFO will help us get there. As a long-term Openreach partner, EXFO was selected thanks to its proven ability to provide fast, automated qualification of fibre builds, and for its unique iOLM OTDR technology. We’re committed to working with the best-in-class to maintain our position as the UK’s leading Full Fibre builder and we’re excited to lead the way as we continue to deliver high-quality network connections to homes and businesses across the UK.”

Wim te Niet, Vice President, Sales – EMEA, EXFO: “Openreach is an early mover in adopting permanent fibre monitoring technology, which will eventually cover all households in the UK. Currently, the FTTH/B penetration rate in the UK stands at 18%, and Openreach has an ambitious plan to build out Full Fibre to millions of households and businesses. We see a similar wave in other key European markets like Germany. I believe network operators across Europe will soon follow Openreach’s lead to ensure first-time-right installations, reduce turn-up failures, and substantially reduce truck rolls for service calls. As for markets with high FTTH/B penetration rates, telecom operators are finding they need sophisticated automated monitoring tools to ensure superior customer experience. EXFO’s innovative Nova Fiber solution gives them these abilities.”

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