BT pledges further £50m to hasten fibre-optic broadband rollout

BT will plough another £50 million into its commercial fibre optic broadband program over the coming three years to take its spending on the new broadband network to £3 billion.

Related: BT piping superfast broadband to rural homes in Surrey

The telecoms operator’s new plan will bring fibre optic broadband to a further 400,000+ premises in 30 cities and it fits in with BT’s plan to eventually bring service to approximately 90 per cent of the country by late 2015 or early 2016.

“We are reaching vast swathes of rural Britain with our public sector partners but we will upgrade these city areas under our own steam. Businesses in cities already have access to ultra-fast speeds but fibre will give them greater choice,” said Mike Galvin, MD of network investment at Openreach. “The UK is already ahead of its main European rivals when it comes to fibre, and is set to race ahead thanks to the BDUK plans that are already in progress across the country.”

BT’s next raft of investment will focus on a trio of key areas to ensure that the service reaches as many premises as possible. This includes configuring city cabinets that weren’t part of BT’s original commercial plans due to technical challenges or planning restrictions, bringing fibre optic services to cabinets that serve multi-dwelling units, and laying further fibre optic cables that include ‘Fibre-to-the-Premises’ technology.

The expansion of BT’s network is part of the Broadband Delivery UK program that includes support from both central and local government to ensure that fibre optic broadband covers as many areas of the country as possible in the coming years.

Related: Ofcom to BT: Slash cost of switching fibre-optic broadband provider

BT’s increased investment in fibre optic broadband hasn’t gone unnoticed in the increasingly competitive UK telecommunications space and rumours earlier this week pointed to talks between Sky and Vodafone that would see the two launch a high-speed broadband service.