Openreach Network Passes 80 Percent of UK Premises

British Telecom says its engineering wing Openreach could pass more than 80 percent of the UK premises with fiber optic network, which corresponds to 23 million homes and businesses. Business and residential subscribers can access the high speed fiber optic network services from the service provider.

Already around 4.6 million premises are taking advantage of high speed fiber optic network services, and 3.2 million customers are signed up with BT’s Retail division currently. The remaining 1.4 million are a mix of other providers using the Openreach network, such as Sky, TalkTalk, and EE.

Revenues of BT for the first quarter of the year were announced, which is £4.27 billion, a two percent decline in the same period last year. However, profits before tax rose nine percent to £694 million.

BT officials described the operator’s achievement of taking fiber optic cables through the premises of more than 80 percent of the houses and businesses. BT considers the achievement as a notable milestone that puts the firm on track to deliver on its and the government’s goal of providing 95 percent coverage by 2017. Apart from the common FTTC and FTTP technologies employed in the UK, British Telecom is now deploying G.fast technology also, which the firm believes could dramatically boost speeds provided over existing copper services.

BT’s technical trials of ultra-fast broadband using G.fast are progressing well and they are on target to start large-scale customer trials this summer. BT also revealed that the operator has already signed up 100,000 mobile customers to its service provided via the EE network.

The sign-up figure for BT’s mobile services is impressive and proves that there is strong demand among customers to take multiple digital services from one provider. This validates BT’s cross-selling strategy, its move back into mobile. With the acquisition of EE, BT will have an extensive retail footprint to showcase a wider range of services.

BT also revealed that higher than expected take-up of fiber optic services in some areas means that the firm is returning £129 million to local authorities from previous broadband contracts that will be used to further expand roll-out projects.

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