BT has announced plans to roll out fibre-based, super-fast broadband to up to 10 million homes by 2012.
The programme will deliver multiple services with top speeds of up to 100Mb/s with the potential for speeds of more than 1,000Mb/s in the future.
BT plans to invest around £1.5bn in total on the programme, of which around £1bn is incremental to its existing expenditure plans for fibre deployment.
The company expects its initial investment in the programme will result in around £100m of incremental capital expenditure in financial years 2008/09 and 2009/10, taking the total expected capital expenditure in those years to around £3.2bn and £3.1bn respectively. The remaining incremental spend of £800m will be spread over the following three financial years.
Fibre-based super-fast broadband will give customers enough capacity to run multiple applications that consume large amounts of bandwidth. In a typical household, it will be possible to watch different high-definition movies, play games and work on complex graphics or video projects simultaneously.
Ian Livingston, BT chief executive, said: ‘We now want to make a step-change in broadband provision that will offer faster speeds than ever before. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in Britain’s broadband story.
‘This is a bold step by BT and we need others to be just as bold. We want to work with local and regional bodies to decide where and when we should focus the deployment. Our aim is that urban and rural areas alike will benefit from our investment.
‘A supportive and enduring regulatory environment is essential if this investment is to take place. Given this, BT will be discussing with Ofcom the conditions that would be necessary to enable this programme to progress.’
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive, said: ‘This is a clear sign that the UK market is moving in the right direction, with a growing number of plans to deliver super-fast broadband services to consumers.’
He added: ‘These new networks will be a critical part of the UK’s infrastructure and will change our experience of communications. They will support and deliver innovative applications and services, as well as helping create new opportunities for businesses of all kinds.’