Blog Post

BT Could Come Around To Fibre-To-Home Network Idea

The dominant telco may yet consider installing an ultimate fibre-to-the-home broadband network around the UK. BT (NYSE: BT) will discuss the option in a November-or-December meeting with government and regulators, the company tells FT.com, dropping previous reluctance in which it had cited lack of economic motivation. BT is already in the middle of upgrading its existing copper-wire network with the 24Mbit 21st Century Network project and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) is currently trialling 50Mbit services, but France and Germany have bolder plans and the government is being pressed by its Broadband Stakeholder Group advisory body to have telcos increase speeds still further to compete with the likes of South Korea.

Despite an estimated £10 billion nationwide roll-out cost, BT is testing fibre-to-the-home on a housing project in Kent. The next battle would be to have BT open the new network to competitors in the same way it unbundled the local loops through the creation of Openreach – and it’s unlikely to want to invest if the regulatory winds blow in that direction.

One Response to “BT Could Come Around To Fibre-To-Home Network Idea”

  1. Chris Penny

    The expense in rolling out new communication services by the likes of BT is surely a montrous committment – the replacement of copper by fibre, to the door.
    An alliance between BT and the water companies could provide a route for the cables down the storm drains to allow cables to be drawn into every corner of the land.
    The legislative mountain would be difficult to surmount as well as certain 'on the gound', practicalities but if progress is to be made without digging up all the roads, again, so be it – the idea should be investigated.
    There was an idea muted in the eighties that the local loop could be replaced by a wireless solution. The sufficiently large broadband question is easily overcome if correct carrier frequencies are employed and local antenna can be tuned to specific areas.
    A combination of waterpipe duct routes for fibre cables and local loop 'cellular' distribution would allow high speed communications to be rolled out in a short period.