Following UK telecom regulator Ofcom setting out plans for its regulation of fixed access services for the five years from 1 April 2021 yesterday (18 March), BT has moved to confirm its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) investment plans. With the telco noting that a major focus of the watchdog’s statement related to how it would stimulate investment in full fibre services across the UK, BT has said that, based on its initial assessment, it believes Ofcom’s plans are ‘broadly in line with the expectations laid out at [BT’s] Q3 2020/21 financial results and, when taken as a whole, will allow BT to earn a fair return on its GBP12 billion [USD16.7 billion) FTTP investment’.
As such, the telco has confirmed its intention to roll out FTTP technology to a total of 20 million premises by the mid- to late-2020s. It noted, however, that further details of the telco’s deployment plan will be announced once it has undertaken a full review of Ofcom’s ‘Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review’ statement and it has a better understanding of any further government support which is available to aid the industry’s rollout of FTTP.
Commenting, BT Group CEO Philip Jansen said: ‘This is good news for all fibre providers in the UK. For us, it is the greenlight we’ve been waiting for to get on and build like fury.’ Meanwhile, Clive Selley, chief executive at BT’s network unit Openreach, added: ‘We’ve now passed almost 4.5 million premises [with FTTP] and are building faster, at lower cost and higher quality than anyone else in the UK. Today’s regulation will allow us to ramp up to three million premises per year providing vital next generation connectivity for homes and business right across the UK.’