BT pledges to increase fiber investment
BT has pledged to up its investment in fiber rollout if the UK government grants it access to an £830 million (€979 million) pot of public cash.
The telco said the funds – set aside to boost fiber deployments in rural areas – would help it to connect 90% of premises in the UK, so beating the government’s target of covering 66% of addresses by 2015.
It would add more of its own cash to the rollout if awarded the monies, which will take its total investment beyond the £2.5 billion already allocated.
Jeremy Hunt, secretary for culture, Olympics, media and sport, is due to announce more details of the government broadband plans today.
He said he will focus on stimulating competition in the fiber market, adding that BT’s pledge is a “great example of public funding and initiative stimulating private sector investment.”
The telco made the promise while announcing a 1Gbps fiber trial that will cover up to 40 rural towns.
“While everyday consumers don’t require Gigabit speeds today, it’s important that we test the maximum speed capabilities of our fiber broadband product to ensure that it is fully future proofed,” BT’s director of strategy Olivia Garfield, explained.
BT will reveal the locations early 2011 and launch services by the year-end or early 2012.