BT promises better broadband for Britain’s digital future
BT CEO Gavin Patterson has pledged to improve the speed and quality of the country’s broadband network as part of his vision for Britain’s digital future.
Speaking at a conference in London today, Patterson said the BT would provide new minimum broadband speeds of 5-10Mbps, as well as expand its fibre coverage, in what looks to be an attempt to counter calls for a split from its broadband unit Openreach.
The UK incumbent has long been under fire from rivals over Openreach and earlier this week a number of UK operators wrote an open letter to UK regulator Ofcom, urging a radical reform of the UK broadband market.
However, according to Ofcom 90% of UK premises have access to fibre broadband, putting the UK at the top of the largest EU countries.
“For the past five years, the UK has been the largest digital economy in the G20, by percentage of GDP,” Patterson said. “We think the UK has an even brighter future ahead if we make the right decisions today.”
BT has also promised to extend its fibre broadband coverage beyond the governments’ 95% of premises target, as well as provide 10 million premises with ultrafast broadband speeds of 300-500Mbps by the end of 2020.
“We want to forge an ultrafast future for Britain and stand ready to help government deliver the broadband speeds necessary for every property to enjoy modern day internet services, such as high definition TV streaming and cloud computing,” Patterson said.
Further pledges from BT include promising to “never say no” to co-funding community broadband schemes, improving customer service and tackling slow speeds in rural areas of the country.