BT network unit Openreach has announced plans to consult with alternative communications providers (CPs) on ‘how best to enhance broadband connectivity across Britain’. In a press release the company said it seeking input on two major policy issues, those being: building the investment case for a large-scale ‘full fibre’ network; and bringing faster broadband speeds to ‘not-spots’ which can only currently order less than 10Mbps services.
Openreach has said it is ‘keen to explore conditions which might allow it to invest in more fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure’. Its consultation will reportedly look at the demand for FTTP, as well as the potential benefits and costs of a larger scale deployment of the technology. With Openreach noting it is currently in a scoping phase, it said it expects to launch a formal consultation ‘in the summer’, while chief executive Clive Selley was cited as saying: ‘With the right conditions we could make full fibre connections available to as many as ten million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s, but we need to understand if there’s sufficient demand to justify the rollout, and support – across industry, Ofcom and government – for the enablers needed to build a viable business case.’
Meanwhile, Openreach has also launched a consultation with CPs on the next steps for the introduction of Long Reach VDSL. Claiming that technology could help to deliver universal broadband coverage, the company said the consultation will look to determine the best ways to deploy Long Reach VDSL in order to ‘optimise the benefits for customers and to help the Government’s objective of delivering universal connectivity in the UK’.