BT Group welcomes fibre-to-the-premises ‘green light’ to ‘build like fury’


BT Group PLC (LON:BT.A) said this morning’s “Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review” from industry regulator Ofcom was broadly in line with what it was expecting.

The telecoms behemoth said the guidelines “when taken as a whole”, will allow BT to earn “a fair return” on its proposed £1.2bn fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) investment.

Most coverage of the Ofcom review has adopted the line that the regulator will allow BT to whack up its prices in order to fund a much-needed update of Britain’s creaky telecoms network.

That being said, BT shares were down 2.2% at 149.1p in mid-morning trading.

READ Ofcom to hold off from insisting on cost-based prices for fibre services for at least 10 years

As if there was much doubt, BT confirmed it would go ahead with its plan to build FTTP to 20mln premises by the mid-to-late 20s.

“This is good news for all fibre providers in the UK. For us, it is the greenlight we’ve been waiting for to get on and build like fury. Full fibre broadband will be the foundation of a strong BT for decades to come and a shot in the arm for the UK as we build back better from this pandemic. Connecting the country has never been more vital,” declared Philip Jansen, the chief executive officer (CEO) of BT.

Clive Selley, the CEO of BT’s semi-autonomous Openreach broadband arm, said today’s regulation would allow Openreach to ramp up to 3mln premises per year.

As revealed on Sunday, BT is also facing tougher competition rules to encourage the altnets to build without fear of being trampled on by Openreach:

— Jamie Nimmo (@JamieNimmo63) March 18, 2021


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