BT says FTTP builds must double to meet gov. target
If the UK government wants to achieve its goal of bringing full-fiber and gigabit broadband to every home and business by 2025, it's going to have to step up its commitments and fast.
That's the takeaway from analysis conducted by Analysys Mason, and commissioned by BT, surveying all 1.7 million postcodes across the UK. According to the study, without further policy interventions, only 70% of the UK will be connected by 2025 and the government's target won't be fully met until 2033.
"For the 2025 target to be met, the number of premises passed by UK fibre builders would need to increase to 4.3 million every year: more than twice what it is at the moment," writes BT in a blog post today. "That won't happen if we simply wait and see what the market delivers. It needs rapid action from government and regulators too."
According to BT and Analysys Mason, five additional policy and fiscal measures must be taken to accelerate progress on fiber rollouts, including:
But even if those additional measures are implemented, BT notes that this would potentially bring the full fiber coverage up to 96% of all UK premises by 2025 and 100% by 2027, still a couple of years off target.
BT's Openreach has been forging ahead with its fiber rollouts, recently going live in areas of Cambridgeshire and Gwynedd, and adding 67 new locations this month. But the company has also used its announcements to shed light on the government's crucial role in Openreach's continued connection efforts.
"Overall, more than 560 towns, cities, boroughs, villages and hamlets have now been included in the company's Fibre First programme – a massive £12 billion project to build 'Full Fibre' technology to 20 million premises throughout the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s, assuming the right regulatory and political fibre enablers are in place," it noted in a press release last week.
Without those "regulatory and political fiber enablers," however, those full-fiber ambitions may get kicked down the road.
— Nicole Ferraro, contributing editor, Light Reading
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.
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