Community fibre partnerships

Community fibre partnerships

Community fibre partnerships

Working with communities on fibre solutions, when they aren’t currently covered by BDUK or commercial fibre plans.

We’re proud to have connected over 26 million properties to our fibre broadband network, including 3 million that were part-funded by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). We’re committed to continue to help the Government achieve 95% fibre coverage by the end of 2017. However, we also want to go further and are always searching for ways to reach the last 5%.

Delivering fibre to the hardest to reach communities is a big challenge. In rural areas we often face long distances and challenging terrain, whereas in more urban we have the added complexity of working in busy streets with limited space for new network.

We're committed to working with all communities to find a fibre solution. Our community fibre partnership scheme is designed to help deliver this. Our ambition is never to say 'no' and we want to work together with communities to find a suitable and affordable option to bring fibre to your area. For more information see our FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

What is a community fibre partnership?

A community fibre partnership is where Openreach works with a local group – this could be the residents of a rural village or a block of flats in a city centre or even a group of business owners in an industrial park – that aren’t covered in an existing fibre upgrade plan to find a solution to bring fibre to their area. The community works directly with Openreach and helps fund part of the fibre build.

How does a community fibre partnership work?

A community fibre partnership is when we work together with a local community (that is not in our commercial or BDUK fibre roll-out plans) to develop a solution to bring fibre to their community. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, where we cover the costs in line with our commercial model used throughout the country and the community has the option to self-fund the remaining gap. We always look for solutions to be as affordable as possible.

When should a community consider a community fibre partnership?

A community would typically look at a partnership when it is:

  • Not in our fibre roll-out plans, in BDUK plans or is too far away from a BDUK cabinet.
  • keen to have fibre and would consider generating the necessary funds to cover the gap in the cost of the fibre solution.

If you’re interested in a community fibre partnership, how do you find out what's possible?

First check with your local council and, if one exists in your area, your BDUK authority to see if your community is included in their fibre plans. If not, get in touch with us providing the contact details of the people wishing to explore a community fibre partnership solution, and who would lead the local side of any potential co-funding arrangements, to bring fibre to the community.

How long does it take to have fibre broadband once you’ve agreed a community fibre partnership with Openreach?

The average lead time from contract signature to enablement (of the infrastructure to enable service) is approximately twelve months. This will all depend on the amount and complexity of the infrastructure that needs to be deployed.

How much will it cost my community?

This is dependent on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed. And this will differ from community to community. Once an application is assessed, we'll provide costings.

Will my community have a choice of which voice and fibre broadband supplier they have?

Yes, Openreach provides access to its network to all service providers, on an equal basis. This means that wherever we deploy fibre, a whole range of different service providers can offer broadband, bringing plenty of choice to consumers and local businesses.

What bandwidths will be available?

For most solutions, using fibre to the cabinet, bandwidths will range up to 80Mbps. Final speeds are dependent on each property’s distance from the fibre cabinet (typically we would expect a minimum of 24Mbps at a range of approx. 1200 metres from the cabinet). The speed will increase as the distance to the cabinet decreases (the closer you live the better the speed at a network level).

Can a community select the type of fibre technology deployed?

We're open to exploring different types of fibre solutions but what we can provide will depend on the existing communications infrastructure in your area. This will be explained as part of the initial engagement process. For more information on the different technologies click here.

Do different technologies have different costs?

Yes, we'll explain all of the different cost as part of our discussions with you. Different technologies require different amounts of infrastructure to be installed and the level of network equipment and labour needed to provide the technology, will also determine the costs.


This is dependent on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed.  And this will differ from community to community.  A community will only be asked to cover costs above those of our commercial model.  Once agreed, 50% of the gap funding must be paid prior to work starting and the final 50% on completion (once the infrastructure is in place it becomes part of the Openreach network).  Please note: it's the responsibility of Openreach to maintain and update the infrastructure.

What are the next steps to take?

If you decide a community fibre partnership is the way you’d like to proceed, check the fibre availability checker against your post code or land line to make sure you’re not already covered by the rollout or that there isn’t an existing co-funding initiative in your community.

Then get in touch using our contact form. In box 8 please select the option "I am interested in a community fibre partnership” and in box 9 provide the contact details of people in your area interested in a community fibre partnership. Once we have that, one of our team will get in touch.

Rollout technologies-see how it's built


Find out if you can get Superfast fibre today

Interested in co-funding fibre access?

Once you’ve consulted your local council, get in touch with us, providing the contact details of people willing to privately-fund access in your community.