Huawei and Nokia have been selected by Openreach to help deliver its UK rollout of fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology to approximately three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020.
Openreach has opened a new, £400,000 training facility in Scotland that is designed to provide engineers with the required skills to enable roll-out of faster broadband technology across the country.
BT has set out its latest strategy update as part of the incumbent’s full year results for 2017-2018. Revealed in the update is the intention to increase its FTTP and mobile infrastructure investment within an annual capex allocation of around £3.7 billion.
UK communications regulator, Ofcom has published a set of measures that aim to increase investment in full fibre broadband networks and lower the upfront building costs. The draft has been submitted to the European Commission for comment, and a final statement is due to be published in March 2018.
Openreach has pledged to bring high-speed broadband to three million UK premises by the end of 2020 as part of its newly launched 'fibre first' programme.
The move follows an earlier announcement by the UK government that it has met its superfast broadband target of 95 per cent of homes by the end of 2017 (see UK government delivers superfast broadband target, still more to be done).
The UK government has delivered on its manifesto commitment to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of homes by the end of 2017, according to Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) secretary of state Matt Hancock.
One of the UK’s major construction companies, Carillion, has been forced to enter liquidation. The move comes following unsuccessful talks with potential lenders and government to try to rescue the business, which provides services to the defence, education, health and transport sectors. Alongside its partner telent, Carillion is also a supplier to two big name firms in building out broadband.
Openreach, the access network division of BT Group, said there is broad industry support for the wider roll out of fibre to the premises (FTTP) in the UK, and that it should be part of a major ‘copper switchover’ across the UK – which would see old telephone cables retired.
Deciding how to recover the costs of such a major investment will be critical, with Openreach suggesting that increased wholesale charges could be used to share costs across all end users, not just those who opt for higher speeds on the new platform.
BT has made an offer to the UK government to voluntarily provide high-speed broadband to 99 per cent all homes and businesses across the country within five years, which would largely be delivered by Openreach.
The government said it received the offer after it committed to introduce a Universal Service Obligation (USO) through regulation to give every home and business in the UK the right to request a high-speed connection of at least 10Mb/s.
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