BT to Invest $82 million to Bring Fiber to 30 Additional Cities

  • BT Openreach
LONDON - BT Openreach announced that it will invest a further $82 million into its commercial fiber broadband program over the next three years. The money will benefit more than 30 cities, helping to make high-speed broadband available to more than 400,000 additional premises. BT is spending more than $5 billion on deploying a fiber broadband, and its open-access fiber network already passes more than 18 million homes and businesses. That footprint is set to grow rapidly as various rural fiber programs are delivered.

UK fiber broadband availability currently stands at 73 percent, when all networks are taken into account. The current Broadband Delivery UK program, which receives financial support from both central and local government, is set to extend that coverage to around 90 percent by late 2015 or early 2016. The program has made strong early progress with hundreds of thousands of premises passed with fiber to date.

“Our fiber program is going extremely well with our engineers connecting homes and businesses across the UK," said Mike Galvin, MD network investment at BT Openreach. "Some city areas have proved challenging in the past but we are returning to those and will pass hundreds of thousands of additional premises with fiber. We are reaching vast swathes of rural Britain with our public sector partners but we will upgrade these city areas under our own steam. Businesses in cities already have access to ultra-fast speeds but fiber will give them greater choice. The UK is already ahead of its main European rivals when it comes to fiber, and is set to race ahead thanks to the BDUK plans that are already in progress across the country.”

BT’s new investment will focus on three areas:

  • Enabling city cabinets that weren’t part of BT’s original commercial plans due to technical challenges or local planning restrictions

  • Deploying fiber to cabinets to serve multi-dwelling units such as apartment blocks

  • Laying further fiber – including fiber-to-the-premises technology – to new build sites in cities

The UK is making strong progress with more than five million premises already using fiber broadband across all networks. This high level of adoption puts the UK ahead of France, Germany, Italy and Spain and it is set to close the gap on Japan and the US according to a recent report from International benchmark of superfast broadband. The report also found the UK is ahead of its main European peers on various other measures, including average speeds, the competitiveness of the market and pricing.

Network Open to All

BT’s fiber network is open to all communications providers on an equivalent basis, ensuring businesses and consumers benefit from intense competition, a wide choice of supplier and low prices. Fiber broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes, watching catch-up TV or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fiber improves the quality of online experiences and supports exciting new developments in internet services.

The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.


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