I am struggling to find any information that can help me understand how fibre is going to be deployed in the UK if the objective of moving away from copper altogether is achieved. Whilst I am familiar with the exchange network that supports copper I have no idea what the future fibre network might look like.
Are physical exchanges still required or will there be some form of computer controlled master distribution system?
Yes physical exchanges are still required, but there are fewer of these "head end" exchanges that serve larger geographic areas, rather than many exchanges serving smaller geographic areas. Smaller local exchanges play no role with FTTP.
Presumably each fibre has a finite capacity and there must be aggregation points of some sort.
Optical fibre has tremendous information carrying capability, in the many terabits/sec for a single strand of glass.
However the architecture deployed for FTTP at least by Openreach, uses a passive optical network (PON) design that passively splits the optical fibre path in the journey from the exchange to the subscriber. The physical connection of a PON is thus "shared" amongst the users connected to it. It is not a dedicated 1-to-1 fibre connection from exchange to user.
The fibre network serving premises is indeed aggregated at various points on the fibres routes from the exchange, called unsurpringsly Aggregation Nodes. Up to 32 premises are served by each individual strand (or core) of fibre that terminates back on an equipment port in the head end exchange.
I am in a rural area that is 100% EO. As we eventually get FTTP which is the current plan, does the existing exchange have a role in the future. Will the term connected to XYZ exchange have any meaning?
Your local rural exchange, unless it serves much larger area, will typically not be a head end exchange and will serve no role for FTTP.
You will still be connected to XYZ exchange, but that exchange may be 15 or 20 miles away, rather than 3 or 4 miles away.
Where can I find a guide that might help me understand what the country's future communication network might physically look like even if I just concentrate on what Openreach is building.
Google is actually a good ally. Theres plenty of good information out there.