BT Broadband Ducts To Be Opened To Rivals
BT (BT.com) is planning to open up its network of underground cable ducts to allow its competitors to install their own fibre optic broadband.
The news, first reported in the Financial Times, could help the roll-out of faster fibre optic broadband speeds across the country – with disruption to roads, payments and communication links also being limited.
In a statement, Ian Livingstone, BT’s Chief Executive said: “We told Ofcom last year we’re willing to provide open access to our ducts and poles and we are working with them on how to achieve it”.
Livingstone continued: “Although it’s unlikely to be the silver bullet to get fibre to every home, open access to all ducts, not just ours, might help BT and others extend coverage and so we would like to see a future government support such a move”.
Such a move is likely to see BT wanting access to its competitors ducts in return, including those of Virgin Media, who already has up to 50Mbps fibre optic broadband available to 55% of UK homes.
BT plans to provide super-fast fibre optic broadband to 40% of the UK (circa 10 million homes and businesses) by the summer of 2012. Giving competitors such as Sky and TalkTalk access to its fibre optic network on, potentially, a wholesale basis could help the company recoup some of its £1.5bn investment.
BT is currently involved in a heavy-weight marketing campaign promoting its range of Winter Deals that include free unlimited anytime calls for 3 months or broadband and weekend calls for £7.99 a month.