In the wake of the British government firmly placing a focus on the delivery of fibre-based services in its recent ‘Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review’ (‘FTIR’), fixed line incumbent BT has reportedly decided to scale back plans to reach ten million premises with G.fast technology. According to the Financial Times, citing a letter sent to customers of BT’s network unit Openreach, the telco is now aiming to upgrade a total of 5.7 million copper lines to G.fast over the next two years, having previously planned to bring the technology to some ten million premises. Meanwhile, Openreach is now seeking to reach some three million premises will full fibre connectivity in the same timeframe, compared to an earlier target of two million.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2018 the Department for Digital, Communication, Media & Sport (DCMS) published a national, long-term strategy for the UK’s telecommunications sector, with a notable focus on the provision of full fibre services. The DCMS’ FTIR, which was announced as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, proposed changes that the state said were needed to ensure that in future, most of the population will have access to 5G. Moreover, it called for 15 million premises to be connectable via full fibre broadband by 2025, while targeting nationwide coverage by 2033.