UK communications providers (CPs) have welcomed our plans to build a large-scale fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network across the nation.
There is also broad agreement that FTTP technology would safeguard the UK’s position as a leading digital economy.
We’ve been consulting with our wholesale customers – CPs including Sky, TalkTalk, BT and Vodafone – and hundreds of others represented by the Federation of Communication Services.
Openreach CEO, Clive Selley says: “We believe that under the right conditions we could build FTTP connections to ten million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s.
“We want to do it, and we think it’s the right thing to do for the UK, but it’s clear we can’t do it alone, so I’m encouraged to hear that our wholesale customers support our vision.”
To make the investment viable, a number of key enablers will need to be put in place through close co-operation among the communications industry, Ofcom and Government. Some CPs have said they’re interested in co-investment and risk-sharing models.
Clive says: “We’re under no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead, because we need to build a business case that’s workable and fair for everyone.
“That means we need a regulatory environment that encourages investment, and we need to agree how the costs of such a huge engineering project can be recovered fairly from all those that stand to benefit.”
We’re now considering all the responses to the consultation carefully as we develop our new network strategy.
We’ll invite views from CPs on a more specific set of proposals that cover potential pricing, footprint and a plan for automatic switchover, by the end of this year.
“I believe Openreach has a critical role to play in achieving such an ambitious goal, and the prize for our CP customers, their customers and the UK as a whole could be huge,” says Clive.
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