SALISBURY is still on track to become the first full-fibre city in the UK by the end of next March, the boss of Openreach has said.

Speaking exclusively to the Journal while on a visit to the city on Friday, Clive Selley confirmed that the scheme was 50 per cent complete.

It comes as network company vans have been spotted across the city as work to deliver fibre optic broadband cables from the exchange on Scots Lane directly to more than 20,000 premises across Salisbury continues.

Salisbury Journal:

However, Mr Selley did note several challenges in the city, including obtaining Way Leave licences – a right of way granted by a landowner to a company – to progress the works.

Currently, of the 380 licences needed in Salisbury, 179 have been obtained.

Mr Selley said: "I know what I want to happen and that is that I want all the landlords to give us permission – we have a few landlords that we need to persuade to get on board.

"The success rate here is very impressive – that is way better than other cities that we are building in, and massively better than the City of London, where the norm is that we can't get permission to go in.

Salisbury Journal:

"So we're doing well and we will ask Councillor Pauline Church, of Wiltshire Council, and Salisbury MP John Glen to help us to persuade the final landlords that this is good, not only for them – because it will probably increase the value of their property, but good for the tennants, and so it should be considered a win-win for all involved."

He added: "There are a significant number of Openreach people in the city building a full fibre network – gigabit-capable, super reliable, very low latency network.

"We are today build past half of the homes (50 per cent), looking at 70 per cent by the end of October and that then leaves, in five months, 30 per cent to go."

Salisbury Journal:

Speaking about the challenges with Salisbury, he said:"It is a fantastic place for us to practice figuring out what it would take to do 100 per cent of premises.

"It's a beautiful city, it's an ancient city in parts, so we've had to be highly respectful of the heritage of the city and make sure that the infrastructure that we deliver is as hidden as possible, and as low profile as possible."

Salisbury MP John Glen added: "I'm extremely grateful to Openreach for their speed of their delivery, they've been totally true to their word.

"They're working through all the challenges and opportunities for learning that Salisbury has given them and very soon we will be seeing lives transformed by constituents being able to access technology that will become the norm everywhere in a few years time. It is great that Salisbury is at the front of the queue.