BT has announced that it’s going to further speed up the deployment of its fibre network across the UK, and is actually 18 months ahead of its original schedule.
The original target date for reaching two-thirds of UK premises with the roll-out was the end of 2015, but now BT reckons it will hit this come spring 2014.
BT notes that this means it will then be able to concentrate on getting fibre out to the “final third” more remote areas of the country, in conjunction with government subsidy money.
The government is apparently pleased with all this, and Secretary of State for Culture Maria Miller was quoted as saying: “Our broadband programme is a key element of our growth and investment agenda and a real priority. Fibre technology is a major driver of economic growth and I am delighted to see BT make such good progress in helping to get the UK connected. Connectivity is a key issue for people across the country whether in rural or urban areas and I now look forward to seeing rapid progress in the Government-backed projects to connect hard to reach areas.”
Apparently, Openreach has achieved its speedy delivery of fibre through lessons learned and deployment processes being smoothed over along the way, plus additional engineers are being recruited.
Cynics might make noises that BT intentionally exaggerated the initial estimations so it now looks good (18 months is a hell of a lot of ground to make up, after all).
At any rate, the quicker we all get fibre, the better; there can be no arguing with that.
Currently BT has hooked up 12 million premises to fibre (mostly FTTC), and the target for spring 2014 is 19 million homes and businesses.