BT tells ministers it cannot complete an upgrade of Britain’s broadband network before 2033 without tax breaks and a bonfire of red tape
BT has told ministers it cannot complete an upgrade of Britain’s broadband network before 2033 without tax breaks and a bonfire of red tape.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said the entire country should have access to cutting-edge fibre connections by 2025.
‘Not feasible’: BT has been aiming for a full fibre roll out by the ‘mid 2020s’
BT has been aiming for a full roll out by the ‘mid 2020s’ but yesterday insisted this was not feasible without more assistance from the Government.
The telecoms giant wants more relief on business rates, as well as changes to the law so it can more easily access land and buildings. It also wants rules to be put in place ensuring all new homes are connected with fibre cables.
Most homes in Britain are still connected to BT’s network using Victorian-era copper wires, which offer limited speeds and are expensive to maintain.
A shift to fibre would provide a huge upgrade and also save BT money on maintenance.
Under boss Philip Jansen, the company has ploughed billions of pounds into a roll out of the technology. But yesterday BT said research it commissioned found that getting 100 per cent UK coverage by 2025 ‘is going to be tough’.
Alex Towers, BT’s group director of policy and public affairs, said that under current conditions just 70 per cent of homes and businesses would get fibre by then. He added: ‘Without policy interventions, the Government’s target may not be delivered until 2033.’
He said that the plans could get ‘back on track’, with full coverage by 2027, if ministers agreed to the changes being proposed by industry figures including BT.