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BT Estimates 80 Percent UK Total Fibre Broadband Footprint by Spring 2015

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 (9:49 am) - Score 2,456

A rough estimate released by BT Wholesale earlier this year has predicted that the operators total “fibre broadband” (FTTC / FTTP) network footprint will increase to reach 80% of the United Kingdom by Spring 2015.

At present BT ended Q4-2013 with its superfast capable and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) dominated roll-out of “fibre broadband” connectivity being made available to 18 million UK premises, which put them just shy of meeting their £2.5bn commercial deployment target for 66% coverage during spring 2014 (19 million homes and businesses).

The imminent results for Q1-2014 are thus likely to show the first target as being all but met and meanwhile BT has already indicated to us that its commercial deployment is now expected to continue on for a bit longer beyond the spring 2014 period’s target for two thirds of the country.

At the same time the Government’s £1.2bn Broadband Delivery UK programme will also be working with BT to ensure that 95% of the UK can access a fixed line superfast broadband (25Mbps+) service by 2017 (note: the BDUK target includes other networks, such as Virgin Media, although BT’s overall deployment covers many of the same areas). Prior to that BDUK anticipated coverage reaching around 90% by the end of 2015.

But until now very little has been known about the expectations for coverage of BT’s own FTTC/P network, beyond the public 66% target. However a recent document seen by ISPreview.co.uk reveals that BT are predicting their total fibre footprint, taking non-commercial areas into account as well as commercial, will extend to 80% by Spring 2015 (this is referenced alongside a figure of 21.5 million premises by March 2015). Another figure of 85% is also hinted at but not qualified in the document.

However it should be stressed that this is considered a rough estimate, which has been provided to the ISP industry in order to help them plan their own investments and thus BT are keen that it shouldn’t be viewed as an official target for the company.

So take this with a pinch of salt because sometimes such data can be misleading, much like how BT’s “Better Future” programme last year caused confusion when it talked about an “aim: to provide nine out of ten premises in the country with access to fibre based products and services by 2020” (here). At the time BT told ISPreview.co.uk, as part of a response, that they still “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” (i.e. 2016/17 – again not to be confused with BDUK’s general target).

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

    That sounds pretty reasonable hope it turns out like it is meant to.

  2. Avatar Raindrops says:

    Seriously can we stop cover these self congratulatory stories submitted by BT employees with meaningless figures. Hell even TBB doesn’t cover half this self deluded dross anymore.

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      Isn’t that the definition of a Press Release (for any company)anyway?

    2. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Yeah its just a shame the employees and the organisation named BT want to spam probably a dozen or more so called news events every few days in this sites direction.

      Its became over run with clap trap dross from BT, you included.

    3. Avatar No clue says:

      The worst part is the dozy employees continue to submit the ‘news’ items and when people tear them apart or dismiss them in any form along comes the same individuals to attempt to defend the piece.

    4. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Ah a day just would not be complete without the odd bit of childish trolling, which I’m more than happy to press the erase button on again if it gets out of hand.

      ISPreview.co.uk has always attempted to cover all ISP developments of relevance, which is nothing new and has been occurring since we first sprang to life. If you don’t like it and rather be kept in the dark, go elsewhere.

      FYI – The 80% figure was uncovered in a document from BT Wholesale, it’s not a press release and when queried BT weren’t enthusiastic about us posting it.. so we did. The article is neutral in tone, perhaps even more on the critical side at the end, and you’ll find plenty of criticism of BT in many other articles if you’re that way inclined.

    5. Avatar Gadget says:

      I’m sure Mark Jackson is both independent and a capable enough editor to both decide and write the stories and editorial comment without being swayed by spam or dross.
      As for meaningless figures at least these appear to have a providence which was clearly referenced in the article – you may choose to disagree with the figures and I’m sure we all will view with interest the arguments you marshal to disprove them.

    6. Avatar No clue says:

      “…The 80% figure was uncovered in a document from BT Wholesale, it’s not a press release and when queried BT weren’t enthusiastic about us posting it..”

      Csn i ask where this news item came from then if its not a release from BT?

  3. Avatar BT Investor says:

    Thanks for posting Mark Jackson.

    I come here for the in-depth coverage of internet connectivity and broadband services and appreciate the job you do. You can never please everyone all the time, but overwhelming I appreciate the balanced tone you strike in your articles. Most importantly you do an outstanding job of getting us the information we need on a daily basis.

  4. Avatar MikeW says:

    Thanks Mark – just enough clues to find the document 😉

    An increase of 3.5m in 15 months will represent something of a slowdown from the commercial rollout – where they pretty much sustained 1m every quarter.

    That suggests they are now hitting smaller cabinets

    1. Avatar gerarda says:

      It may also be they have excluded from internal documents premises passed that cannot get a service. I am sure they were claiming 19m premises passed some time ago – a figure which now seems to have fallen to £18m

    2. Avatar George says:

      The 19 million figure i think is supposed to be by end of spring this year. How and when BT calculate Spring to be the end and Summer starts is anyones guess, especially given last years shambles with their special “Summer” deals which actually were still running into Autumn.

      It also depends on which source you believe. If you google around some statements and news items about/from BT state its 19 Million premises already. In which case this article would be wrong and so the rest of the figures are dubious at best.

      As touched on but to be brief to avoid irking anyone. It seems to be another meaningless figure from BT. Another recent story on here which was not covered elsewhere claims BT have 3 million subscribers to FTTC, if that were true it would mean over half their customer base have FTTC. Which obviously is not true when you look at other statistical data both from Ofcom, speedtest story round ups (that put the average at around 17Mb) and individuals actual speed and what speed they would like to have willing to pay for type poll/surveys.

      There is nothing wrong with stories like this being submitted but perhaps before they are published the claims should be looked into more. The fact this item has not popped up anywhere else from what i can see online, would to me indicate every claim in it should be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

    3. Avatar Gadget says:

      George – the FTTC customer number may be an Openreach number which includes other operators as well as BT Retail

    4. Avatar George says:

      No the 3 million figure was a BT retail claimed infinity base. The other 18/19 Million Openreach figure varies depending on the news item.

  5. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    “That suggests they are now hitting smaller cabinets”

    Well BT have not hit the small cab that supplies my area after the exchange (Wallasey) went live 22 months ago.

  6. Avatar doofy says:

    And they still cannot do it right !!!!! superfast in my case superslow with a extortionate price tag

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