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BT set to extend superfast broadband and 4G coverage to over 95% of the UK

Posted in 'Neighbourhood' by Paul Anderson Riley

09 May 2016

BT will extend superfast broadband and 4G coverage to over 95% of the UK by 2020 as part of a £6 billion investment which aims to help improve their services following pressure from Ofcom and communication supplier rivals.

BT is the largest telecom firm in the UK and has seen an increase in pre-tax profits of 15% for the year to 31st March, which has been backed by stronger demand for its products.

The ambition of their recent plans is to give access to ultrafast broadband to 12 million homes and businesses using technology which is a combination of copper and fibre technologies. New housing developments, business parks and high streets will form the main part of the 2 million customers who will access speeds of up to 1Gbps using fibre optic broadband lines.

In a pledge to better the company, operations and its products, BT will also increase spending in customer service. Its infrastructure division, Openreach, will aim to reduce missed appointments within a year by half, part of this will be covered by the hiring of 1,000 new engineers. Other changes in customer services include reducing the time taken for repair work and handling 90% of customers’ calls in the UK by March 2017.

Clive Selley of BT has released a statement promising “better service, broader coverage and faster speeds”.

Ofcom made a number of recommendations to BT early this year which were made following pressures from rivals including Sky and TalkTalk. The communications regulator regularly reviews Britain’s broadband needs and competition within the industry and has also advised BT to improve business services for broadband. It also suggested that BT work closely with their rivals in order to provide better access to their infrastructure.

Sky have not been impressed by the recent statements of intent by BT and have commented “Today’s statement shows that BT continues to see copper as the basis of its network for 21st-century Britain. Despite BT’s claims, it is clearer than ever that their plans for fibre to the premise (FTTP) broadband will bypass almost every existing UK home…This limited ambition has been dragged out of BT by the threat of regulatory action, demonstrating once again why an independent Openreach, free to raise its own long-term capital, is the best way for the UK to get the fibre network it needs.”

BT continues to branch out their products following the acquisition of EE and the popularity of the BT sport channel.

Paul Anderson Riley

Paul has a degree in Human Geography from Plymouth University and has a keen interest in both listening to and playing music, football and surfing.


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