Working with Openreach

Openreach were instrumental to the delivery of the government’s first waves of the Superfast Britain Programme. BT Openreach won the first two contracts with Superfast Northamptonshire in 2013 and 2014 to deliver the first two stages of the project.  This public/private investment boosted the availability of superfast broadband to around huge 20% of premises in the county.  At the time, this was a game changer for many businesses and provided much needed fast connectivity to households across Northamptonshire. Openreach are now supporting the Government’s Project Gigabit programme and have committed to extend their full fibre network commercially to reach 25 million premises across the UK by the end of 2026.

Information about working with Openreach

Find out more below about the Openreach contracts with Superfast Northamptonshire, their commercial Fibre First programme and the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership offer.

Openreach won two contracts for Superfast Northamptonshire to deliver the first two stages of the project and is playing a major part in helping to deliver improved connectivity benefits to many areas in North and West Northamptonshire.

Contract Award and Achievements

The first stage of the project was contracted by Northamptonshire County Council in March 2013 following a procurement process through the Government’s Broadband Infrastructure Framework.

The contract was due to provide access to superfast broadband (access line speeds >24Mbps) to 48,660 premises. The contract was extended twice in 2014 to serve an additional 4,750 premises.

Excellent progress was made and these extended Stage 1 plans were completed in March 2016 and benefitted more than 53,800 premises.

The second contract was awarded to Openreach in November 2014. This has extended the availability of superfast broadband to a further 19,240 premises.

Together these contracts delivered hundreds of miles of fibre broadband network to make superfast broadband available to 73,000 homes and businesses in North and West Northamptonshire.

Summary of contracts

​Contract and value (£)

​Contract 1: worth £10.6m

​Contract 2: worth £8.8m

​Public Investment (£)

​Involves £6.7m of public investment

​Involves £6.1m of public investment

Openreach Investment (£)

​£3.9m investment by Openreach

​£2.7m investment by Openreach

​Network Build Details

Involved planning, design and build of a fibre-based network which has provided access to Superfast Broadband (>24Mbps) to:

  • 53,800 premises within the target intervention area. This is 400 premises more than the contract delivery target and includes 1,450 premises which benefitted from full fibre technology.
  • In total over 57,800 premises have  benefitted from access to superfast speeds including premises incidental to the target intervention area.

​Involved planning, design and build of a fibre-based network which has provided access to Superfast Broadband (>24Mbps) to:

  • 19,240 premises within the target intervention area).  This is more than 500 premises above the contract delivery target and includes 590 premises which benefitted from full fibre technology.
  • In total 22,090 premises have benefitted from access to superfast speeds including premises incidental to the target intervention area.


​Network build from 2013 to March 2016

​Network build from early 2016 to May 2020.

The first two stages of the Superfast Northamptonshire project involved public funding from Northamptonshire County Council, the Government (Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (BDUK programme), the Department for Business Innovation and Skill (Local Growth Fund via Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership); and the seven local district and borough councils.

The County Council and local councils were replaced by two Unitary authorities (North and West Northamptonshire Councils) in April 2021. The responsible government department changed to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology in February 2023.

First new fibre cabinets went live in February 2014

The first new fibre cabinets (green roadside boxes) to be delivered by the project went ‘live’ in February 2014, benefitting many of the residents and businesses in Towcester. The then Government Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, was on hand to mark the achievement of this milestone.

Eighteen months later the Minister congratulated Northamptonshire for reaching over 50,000 premises with the superfast broadband roll out. Without the multi-million pound public / private investment, superfast fibre broadband would not be available to these premises and the benefits that this brings.

shows from the left:  then County Council Leader Jim Harker, Ed Vaizey (then Minister of State at DCMS), then County Councillor

Image above, shows from the left:  then County Council Leader Jim Harker, Ed Vaizey (then Minister of State at DCMS), then County Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage and former BT Managing Director of NGA, Bill Murphy.

Further information

For more information on how and where Openreach have delivered for the project please visit the pages listed below:

Openreach is undertaking a massive national upgrade plan of its network to full fibre, including an ambition to deliver to 25 million premises across the UK by the end of 2026. The Openreach “Fibre First” announcements to date (March 2023) involve upgrade plans in 49 exchange areas across Northamptonshire.  This is good news for the county.  The programme will support progress towards our local Superfast Northamptonshire targets to see 80% of premises across Northamptonshire able to access full fibre by the end of 2028.

Openreach envisage that the majority of premises in these exchange areas will be served through their Fibre First programme  but they acknowledge that not all premises will benefit. This is because it is a commercial roll out – so those more costly remote premises or difficult to reach premises are unlikely to benefit. 

Local councils may not be party to information on which premises remain unserved, once that is known by Openreach.

The Openreach map of Fibre First exchanges provides indicative timescales in a programme of works in Northamptonshire extending to 2026. It is currently unclear how many premises in these areas will benefit and it is possible that more remote rural premises may not be served. These premises are expected to be the focus for the government's Project Gigabit programme focused on helping the hardest to reach rural premises. It is early days for these Openreach plans and a lot of uncertainty about coverage.

The list of exchanges announced to date by Openreach include:
Adderbury, Banbury, Blisworth, Bozeat, Brackley, Braunston, Brigstock, Brixworth, Broughton, Burton Latimer, Byfield, Chapel Brampton, Cogenhoe, Corby, Creaton, Crick, Daventry, Desborough, Dunchurch, Duston, Earls Barton, Finedon, Great Oakley, Hackleton, Hanslope, Hardingstone, Harrowden, Irthlingborough, Kettering, Kings Sutton, Kingsthorpe, Kislingbury, Long Buckby, Moulton, Northampton, Oundle, Paulerspury, Raunds, Roade, Rugby, Rushden, Stamford, Stony Stratford, Thrapston, Towcester, Wansford, Weedon, Wellingborough and Yardley Gobion.​

Are Openreach Fibre First plans represented on the Superfast Northamptonshire When and Where map?

Premise level information on Openreach Fibre First plans is largely not available to councils so it is difficult to represent these plans on the When and Where map. There is also still considerable uncertainty around the extent of coverage plans.

The last consultation with telecoms providers on their commercial plans in Northamptonshire closed in February 2021. Any premise level information on Openreach full fibre coverage (Fibre to the Premise) provided at that time is represented on the map. If a premise is located within an announced Fibre First exchange area, and there are no other known commercial plans i.e. the premise is White on the When and Where map, the pop up will direct the enquirer to the Openreach site for more information. This is not an indication of confirmed plans to serve the property.

Further information

​Openreach operate a Fibre Community Partnership (FCP) scheme.

This is a demand led scheme requiring a resourceful local community lead to bring together a group of like-minded residents and business owners, or whole communities, to secure or expedite a full fibre broadband upgrade for their locality.

These are customised solutions which are partly funded by Openreach and partly funded by private contributions from the community. Once a quote has been accepted and agreed with a community and funding confirmed, Openreach will build. Delivery timescales and premise level coverage would be agreed as part of the FCP arrangement. Openreach may also advise on any government grants which may be available to help pay for the community contribution, including Gigabit Vouchers if eligible.

Before embarking on a FCP initiative, whether you live in North or West Northamptonshire, please contact the Superfast Northamptonshire team to find out if your locality is already in plans to be served.

Further information

​What is Openreach Stop Sell?

The term ‘Stop Sell’ is used by Openreach to signify stopping the sale of certain Openreach products to communications providers (). Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (like Sky, Talk Talk, BT etc) buy Openreach wholesale products which enable them to provide telecoms services (including voice and broadband services) to an end customer. This could involve Fibre to the Premise or Fibre to the Cabinet, Ethernet, GFast or more specialist optical products for example. The networks built and maintained by Openreach enable over 650 ISPs across the UK to sell different types of services to end customers.

If you try and order a service from your ISP which is no longer available from Openreach in a Stop Sell area, then your order will not be accepted by your ISP and you will have to choose a different service. For example, if you want a service which is provided over the copper network including voice services, and Fibre to the Premise is available at your property, you will only be able to buy full fibre services including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is a landline telephone service provided over the internet. If you are in a Full Fibre (Fibre to the Premise) Priority Exchange where Stop Sell applies but full fibre is not available at your property then you will not be affected by Stop Sell when changing your service, for as long as it remains available as an Openreach product.

Stop Sell is not the same as product withdrawal. Under stop sell, any end customer who is already using a particular service / product, will be able to continue using it (until it is withdrawn). It will only affect you as a consumer if you are in a Stop Sell exchange and you decide to change or upgrade the service you are on.

Which exchanges have been announced?

Stop Sell is normally triggered when the number of premises able to access full fibre in an exchange area reaches at least 75%.  As of January 2023, the following exchanges in Northamptonshire have been announced for Stop Sell.

​Exchange Name ​Location  Order restriction implementation Date ​Last amended date ​Tranche
Hardingstone​25-Jan-22​25-Jan-21​Tranche 3
​Earls Barton​02-Aug-22​02-Aug-21​Tranche 5
​Crick​01-Nov-22​19-Oct-21​Tranche 6
​Rushden​08-Feb-23​12-Jan-22​Tranche 7
​Brixworth​09-May-23​20-Jul-22​Tranche 8
​Cogenhoe​09-May-23​20-Jul-22​Tranche 8
​Daventry​09-May-23​16-Jan-23​Tranche 8
​Kislingbury​09-May-23​20-Jul-22​Tranche 8
​Towcester​09-May-23​07-Oct-22​Tranche 8
​Chapel Brampton​08-Aug-23​20-Jul-22​Tranche 9
​Roade​08-Aug-23​20-Jul-22​Tranche 9
​Kingsthorpe​09-Nov-23​07-Oct-22​Tranche 10
​Duston​16-Feb-24​16-Jan-23​Tranche 11

Further information

View the latest Openreach Stop Sell information

View our UK Landline Digital Upgrade web page

Full Fibre will help to boost the UK’s Economy

Research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) commissioned by Openreach in 2021 reveals the benefits that full fibre could provide to the UK. The pandemic has accelerated previous trends. A million more people could be helped to access employment though increased flexible working. Two million more people could work remotely from home, reducing transport and housing pressures in big cities and boosting local and rural economies across the country.

View the CEBR report on Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband 2021 to find out more.

Image summarizing key stats about how the pandemic has changed the way we live and work.