Fujitsu to spend GBP2 billion on rural fibre rollout in the UK

14 Apr 2011

Japanese technology firm Fujitsu has revealed plans to invest between GBP1.5 billion and GBP2 billion (USD2.4 billion and USD3.3 billion) on the rollout of a fibre network in the United Kingdom, with the proposed infrastructure likely to cover some five million rural households. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investment will be spread over the next three to five years, while Fujitsu also hopes to bag around GBP500 million of public funds that are being made available by the British government to drive investment in superfast broadband services in rural regions. Alternative operators Virgin Media and TalkTalk, and equipment vendor Cisco Systems are all expected to play a role in the network’s development; the open-access infrastructure will be underpinned by Cisco technology, while Virgin and TalkTalk have been mooted as potential flagship wholesale customers. The Japanese firm has said that the proposed infrastructure will act as an alternative to the fibre-optic network being rolled out by fixed line incumbent BT. Meanwhile, commenting on the proposal Ed Vaizey, the UK’s communications minister, noted: ‘Creating this superfast broadband network will help improve the economic and social prospects of the homes and businesses where high speed internet access remains just a dream.’