New fibre provider for UK?

Created February 1, 2022
News and Business

The UK could see a new wholesale fibre operator set up in direct competition to Openreach, BT’s wholesale fibre business, according to a report on the Financial Times website. It reports that Telefónica and Liberty Global, who jointly own Virgin Media O2, have held preliminary discussions with potential investors on the creation of a new fibre venture in the UK linked to the operator, a move which, says the Financial Times, would further increase competition to BT. It added that Telefónica and Liberty Global are about to step up their efforts to secure funding for the project, which aims to connect seven million homes, primarily in areas Openreach’s network is still to be rolled out.

Throughout 2021, Openreach has been building its resources following its updated Full Fibre broadband build plan which will be fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable broadband’ to 85% of the UK by 2025. Openreach is also following an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group meaning that it’ll now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts.

In pursuit of these goals, Openreach signed deals with Prysmian Group and CommScope for blown fibre and the assembly of connectorised block terminals in it’s drive for ever-greater coverage, however with a myriad of independent fibre providers springing up in rural and underserved areas of the country, the last thing Openreach needs is more competition.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.