BT Group increase ultrafast broadband coverage
The latest figures from BT Group show that Openreach’s coverage of ultrafast broadband ISP network has increased to 4.2million premises, that’s up 3.7% on last quarter. This includes 1.81million on fibre to the premises (FFTP) broadband and 2.42million on hybrid fibre G.fast, despite their plans to pause this particular product.
Indeed, Openreach has been busy launching their new Dark Fibre X, a new fibre product which allows users to design and build their own connectivity services and solutions, and extending new build Dark FTTP discounts to commercial premises. They have also begun rolling out full fibre to more blocks of flats, soft launched a new 550Mbps and 1 Gbps FTTP tier and commenced testing new methods and technologies to cut the cost of installing fibre optic broadband for rural communities.
BT has also announced a major upgrade for 700,000 of their fibre broadband customers who are currently on an older, and slower, ADSL based copper line and plans to roll out Halo, a new plan that combines 5G and fixed broadband. Additionally, the figures show that BT’s assumptions about the grant from the Government’s Building Digital roll-out at the 6-month stage was £622million, down from £667million from their previous results.
FTTP Broadband leading product
Openreach’s dominant deployment among the superfast category over the last year was the rollout of full fibre FTTP, while its uptake actually fell elsewhere. Their other offering, G.fast, may only be at 2.11% uptake but this is up from last quarter’s 1.66%, and with the promise of Sky broadband’s related packages, G.fast may yet have a bigger impact on Openreach’s up-take next quarter.
It’s important to remember that both FTTP and G.fast are relatively new technologies and their roll out is still in infancy. Measurement is greatly affected by several different factors, including brand awareness, consumer choice and build pace, which means these figures may yet go up or down.
CEO of BT Group, Philip Jansen, said the figures BT delivered were "in line with our expectations for the second quarter and first half of the year, and we remain on track to meet our outlook for the full year.” He goes on to outline the company’s big plans for the future, “Openreach is significantly accelerating its pace of FTTP build and is now passing a home or business every 26 seconds. Openreach announced a further 29 locations in its build plan to reach 4million premises by March 2021, and we continue to make positive progress with Government and Ofcom on the enablers to stimulate further investment in full fibre.”
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