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UPD BT Denies Delaying its 90% UK Fibre Broadband Ambition from 2017 to 2020

Thursday, May 30th, 2013 (1:06 pm) - Score 1,193

The publication of BT’s new Better Future programme has caused confusion after one of its aspirations promised to make their “fibre based” (FTTC/P) superfast broadband ISP products available to “nine out of ten premises” in the UK by 2020, which appears to be three years behind the original aim of 2017.

The Better Future programme pledges to use the power of communication to improve people’s lives, such as by working with their customers to reduce carbon emissions, but hidden deep within its pages can be found a commitment to “provide nine out of ten premises in the country with access to fibre based products and services by 2020“.

Better Future – A Superfast Network

We’re investing £2.5 billion to lay tens of thousands of kilometres of fibre cable in the UK to provide faster, more reliable connections for individuals, homes, communities and businesses. The aim: to provide nine out of ten premises in the country with access to fibre based products and services by 2020.

We’re really pleased with progress so far. In 2012/13, BT Openreach was connecting up to 100,000 homes or businesses every week. Over 15 million UK properties now have superfast fibre broadband access as a result.”

At present BT’s £2.5bn investment aims to make their superfast broadband services (FTTC/P) available to around 66% of the UK by the end of 2014, although BTOpenreach has repeatedly said that its “ambition is to work with communities to provide superfast fibre to 90% of Britain by 2017“.

However the 90% target would only be achieved if BT won the lion’s share of public funding from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office and so far they’re well on the way to achieving that.

Niall Dunne, BT’sChief Sustainability Officer, said:

Our Better Future programme signals BT’s evolution to a new model in which every part of the business and every employee has a role to play in realising our visions and achieving our goals to create a better business with a better future. It’s a long-term commitment, focusing on what we do best – bring together our networks and our technology with the expertise of our people to make a better world. Using the power of communications, we can benefit our customers, our bottom-line and the communities we operate in.”

It could be that BT will still achieve 90% by 2017 and they might simply have no plans to go beyond that, thus the 2020 figure would not be a delay but if that were the case then why not use a more positive figure of 2017? ISPreview.co.uk has requested a clarification from Openreach.

UPDATE 1:42pm

A spokesperson for Openreach has said that they “hope to exceed” the 2020 goal and that what they said previously still stands, which is that BT “believe we can deliver fibre broadband to more than 90 per cent of UK premises via our network over the next three to four years” (assuming they win the necessary public funding of course).

A similar job opening for an Openreach engineer also stated recently that “Our bold ambition is to provide superfast fibre to 90% of Britain by 2017” (here).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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