Thursday, 18 January 2018

UK telecoms leaders meet to discuss strategy for fibre networks

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Wednesday 13 December 17

Senior representatives of UK telcos, along with member's of the government and Ofcom attended the meeting with European ministers.

Senior leaders from Britain's top telecom's operators met with government officials and representatives of Ofcom this week to discuss strategies for investing in Britain's full fibre networks.  The meeting was attended by senior representatives from BT's Openreach…

Senior leaders from Britain's top telecom's operators met with government officials and representatives of Ofcom this week to discuss strategies for investing in Britain's full fibre networks. 

The meeting was attended by senior representatives from BT's Openreach, Talk Talk, Sky, Vodafone and Virgin Media, as well as the UK's culture secretary, Karen Bradley, and the head of Ofcom, Sharon White. The meeting sort to identify ways to speed up the roll out fibre to the home (FTTH) services in the UK.

Britain is lagging behind its European neighbours in the roll out of FTTH services, with just 3% of Britain's being able to connect to full fibre. For the purposes of comparison, Orange alone has rolled out FTTH to 25 million people in France and Spain.  

The UK government has set a target of providing FTTH services to 10 million premises by 2023, but there has been much debate over who should pick up the bill. The UK government has recently created a £190 million fund, which aims to stimulate investment in fibre networks.

The meeting came a week after Ofcom had called on BT to speed up its investment in the UK's full fibre broadband networks.

“Competition for fibre is growing, as will consumer demand for it. As the owner of Openreach it should act in the interest of all of its customers who rely on it, as well as its shareholders,” said Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom.

 

Ofcom's chief executive, Sharon White, will be a speaker at this year's Connected Britain event, where she will be discussing the implications of underinvestment in full fibre networks on Britain's business sector. From the 19th – 20th June 2017, the event will bring together key stakeholders in Britain's broadband infrastructure. 

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