Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Vodafone: Telcos need more details before they can deliver on PM's 'fibre-for-all' pledge

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Wednesday 13 November 19

UK PM Boris Johnson recently promised FTTH connectivity for every home and business in the UK by 2025 – but the logistics of this will present numerous challenges for providers and network owners

The UK government needs to provide more details before telcos are able to act on its commitment to provide gigabit connectivity to every home and business in the UK, according to Vodafone. UK prime minister, Boris Johnson…

The UK government needs to provide more details before telcos are able to act on its commitment to provide gigabit connectivity to every home and business in the UK, according to Vodafone.

UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, recently pledged to provide fibre to the home connectivity to every single home and business in the UK by 2025, calling the previous government's commitment to do this by 2033 "laughably unambitious".  Mr Johnson seems now to be furiously rowing back on that pledge, as the scale of realising this goal becomes clear.

This week, Vodafone's CEO, Nick Read, told journalists in London that while his company was enthusiastic about the prospect of ramping up next generation connectivity rollouts, telcos needed more details before they could commit to providing universal, gigabit capable connectivity in the UK.

"Do we like the initiative and the goal? Yes, we do! Would we like more details? Yes, we would," he said.

"More importantly, we need to know that we are going to be able to realise the right type of returns.

"There are a lot of players, a lot of infrastructure investors, that are keen to do something in the UK – but the returns need to be there. We need the ability to build – securing right of ways, etc. I think the desire is there.

"What I suggest is that we engage with the government of the day after the general election to see whether the commitment is still there and what the definition is.," he concluded.

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