I've seen that Fibre will be available in my area soon. Can I pre-order now?

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Here are some answers to common questions about the availability of Fibre in your area.

The Openreach availability checker checks to see if the street cabinet (the large green box on the street) is fibre enabled. This means it has fibre capability and is ready to accept orders from all communication providers.

Sometimes, even though a cabinet may have been fibre enabled, you won't be able to get Fibre at your property. There are several reasons for this:

  • The line from the cabinet to your home may not be able to support speeds fast enough for Fibre
  • You may live too far away from the cabinet through which your phone line connects to the exchange, so it's not possible to provide service. If you get a broadband speed of less than 2Mbps at the moment, this may be the case
  • There could be more than one cabinet serving your postcode. If you didn't use your telephone number when checking on the BT.com availability checker, try that now. If the cabinet you're connected to isn't enabled yet, you'll be able to register your interest and we'll email you when it is. If you don't have a telephone number, it's best to speak to one of our sales advisors so we can arrange that for you too
  • The cabinet could be full to capacity and all the fibre ports in use. This will be indicated on the Openreach site as "High demand". Openreach are working extremely hard to ensure this doesn't happen by increasing cabinet capacity or introducing new ones as quickly as possible. If you see this, you can register your interest and we'll email you when things are ready

Other responses you may see for your postcode:

  • "Enabled area" will appear on the Openreach availability checker when your exchange is enabled, but the cabinet through which your line connects to the exchange isn't ready yet. You can register your interest and we'll email you when it's ready
  • "Under review" means Openreach are doing an assessment to see if they can enable the cabinet with fibre. There are a number of potential reasons for delay:
    • Openreach could be waiting for the local authority to agree on a site
    • They could be looking for an alternative location due to other amenities being nearby
  • A 'question mark' in the pin on the map means checking by postcode alone isn't clear as perhaps there is more than one cabinet serving your postcode. Try putting your telephone number into the BT.com availability checker. If it's due to be enabled you can register your interest and we'll email you when it's ready
  • "Coming soon" means Openreach hope to upgrade the cabinet within the next six months
  • "Planned area" means Openreach hope to upgrade the cabinet within the next 18 months

If your line goes directly in to the exchange rather than through a street cabinet, then unfortunately you won't be able to get Fibre.

To check on your local situation, try your county council's website under Broadband Development UK (BDUK).

If our BT.com availability checker says you can't get Fibre for now, you'll be able to register your interest so we can let you know when it becomes available.

If you want to send an enquiry to Openreach to find out when fibre will be in your area and highlight demand, you can do so from their Fibre Access site >

We're sorry Fibre is now showing as unavailable. Our availability dates are our best estimate, but sometimes bringing Fibre to your area can take longer than we thought, and sometimes it might not even be possible.

This could be for a number of reasons:

  • Blocked underground cable routes
  • Problems with providing electrical power to a cabinet
  • Issues with a cabinet's location
  • Sometimes a cabinet is removed from the roll-out programme because of restrictions beyond our control

For the roll-out of fibre broadband, installing fibre equipment in the exchange is only one part of the story: the other is running the fibre cable from the exchange to the street cabinets (the green boxes on the street) around the exchange area.

If you want to send an enquiry to Openreach to find out when fibre will be in your area and highlight demand, you can do so from their Fibre Access site >

Not everyone who is served by a cabinet that is enabled for Fibre will be able to get the service. This could be because:

  • The cabinet is full to capacity which means all the available fibre ports are currently in use. If you see this, you can register your interest and we'll email you when it's ready
  • Your line is too long to support the higher speeds

Or you may simply find that your neighbours are served by a different cabinet from you. If yours isn't enabled, you won't be able to experience Fibre yet, but check on the BT.com availability checker and register your interest.

In some cases it could even take a government subsidy to bring fibre broadband to you. Details can often be found on your county council's website under Broadband Development UK (BDUK).

If you want to send an enquiry to Openreach to find out when fibre will be in your area and highlight demand you can do so from their Fibre Access site >

Exchanges are generally large buildings found in or around a town or city centre where all the telephone lines for that area originate.

There are about 5,600 telephone exchanges around the UK. These buildings host a wide range of telecommunications and other equipment.

Very few homes are connected directly to an exchange. Most people are connected via a local street cabinet. These are dark green, about one metre high and typically you'll find them on street corners or by the side of roads or paths. There are about 90,000 cabinets around the country.

Sometimes Openreach may put a sticker on a cabinet that is still going through its final commissioning phase. Also, the cabinet that you see near your property may not be the cabinet that serves your property.

The best thing is to keep checking BT.com availability checker. If our checker says you can't get it yet, you'll be able to register your interest so we can let you know when it's available.

If you want to send an enquiry to Openreach to find out when fibre will be in your area and highlight demand you can do so from their Fibre Access site >

It could be that the fibre network in your area is not provided by Openreach, but by another supplier - Virgin Media, for example.

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