BT announces investment to expand fibre broadband rollout in London

BT today announced plans to expand its high-speed fibre broadband network in London.

Openreach, BT’s network infrastructure division, will make fibre available at a further 360,000 homes and businesses in the next two years.

The rollout will take availability of fibre optic services for homes and small businesses* beyond the current 95% coverage**.

Independent data*** suggests virtually every property in the capital can already access broadband speeds sufficient to use iPlayer in standard definition.

Today’s announcement means that even more premises will be able to access modern internet services, including business and educational applications and high-definition video.

BT is spending more than £3 billion deploying fibre across the UK.

Today’s announcement comes on top of more than £150million already spent on making Openreach’s fibre network the most extensive in the capital.

Openreach remains determined to boost broadband speeds for those on the slowest connections – but overall, London leads many other cities.

One of the most authoritative reports, PWC’s “Cities of Opportunity,” already rates London second only to Seoul as the best in the world for broadband quality. ****

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Group, said: “Independent data shows that 95% of London premises can already access fibre broadband, but our aim is to go further.

“Even though the EU places the UK top of its five largest countries for broadband, we have never been distracted from the need to go on doing more for those on the slowest speeds.”

Joe Garner, chief executive of Openreach, said: “We are working flat out to bring fibre to every person we can in London and cement London’s leadership as one of the world’s leading cities for broadband.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: "The digital landscape of the UK is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Today's BT announcement that it will be extending its rollout of fibre in London is fantastic news for the 360,000 homes and businesses that will benefit, and will help make sure that 95 per cent of the UK can access superfast speeds by 2017."

Openreach’s fibre broadband will continue to be available on an ‘equivalent’ basis to all internet service providers.

That means all providers can continue to use the infrastructure to sell household and business broadband under their own brand names, paying Openreach the same “rental” payments as BT’s own Consumer and Business divisions.


Notes to editors

* Every business property in London can already access “Ethernet” – ultrafast high-capacity broadband over tailor-made lines. Today’s announcement concerns fibre optic connections for households and smaller businesses.

**The 95% estimate is sourced from ThinkBroadband, using Ofcom and other information and pertains to overall coverage across both Openreach and rival networks.

BT cannot give a precise estimate of how far beyond 95% coverage will now go as this depends on expansion by competitor networks and potential overlap between their networks and that of Openreach.

***ThinkBroadband shows that only 0.3% of prems in London are at speeds of less than 2Mb/s. This speed is more than enough to stream iPlayer in standard definition.

****PwC’s “Cities of Opportunity 6” report, p. 23