Openreach Seeks Third FTTP Supplier

Abstract: British Telecom (BT) broadband access network subsidiary Openreach is seeking a third FTTP equipment supplier besides HW and Nokia, ADTRAN and Cisco are the most likely targets.

British Telecom (BT) Broadband Access Network subsidiary Openreach seeks a third supplier of fiber broadband technology to support its “Fibre First” fiber-to-the-home (FTTP) plan. According to media reports, the proposal will expire in January 2020, with a view to finalizing suppliers in the second quarter.

According to a tender completed last year, HW and Nokia currently provide 10G PON FTTP equipment to Openreach. “Fibre First” aims to make FTTP networks reached 3 million British homes and businesses by the end of 2020 (Reuters quoted Openreach sources as saying that the BT subsidiary now hopes to reach 4 million homes and businesses by March 2021 ). Although the United States has been lobbying against the use of HW equipment in its Allies’ communications networks, it is unclear whether there is a third supplier. Some UK organizations have also raised concerns about potential reliance on Chinese communications equipment (for example, the UK National Cyber Security Centre warned that the use of ZTE equipment would pose a national security risk).

Bloomberg noted that ADTRAN and Cisco could be potential participants in Openreach’s new tender, and other companies that might be interested include Calix, DASAN Zhone, and CommScope (the latter acquired ARRIS earlier this year). In February of this year, ARRIS conducted a 10G EPON trial with Virgin Media in the UK.


HW and Nokia also provided technology to Openreach under the 2016 contract, but there is no indication that Openreach is also looking for a third supplier for

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