BT pledges support behind UK quantum investment

BT pledges support behind UK quantum investment


BT has voiced its support for the UK government’s 10-year investment into quantum computing technologies to boost the national economy.

Tim Whitley, managing director of research and network strategy at BT details those plans in a blog post from earlier today.

Whitley says the UK is well and truly in the ‘quantum race’ after the government announced £2.5 billion in support of quantum technologies.

As outlined in the National Quantum Strategy, the aim is to keep the UK competitive in one of the world’s fastest-moving fields of technology by investing in research projects linking industry and academia.

“At BT we have been working collaboratively on quantum technologies for many years, and today, we are working across the breadth of quantum technologies to explore real-world applications,” Whitley wrote.

BT’s quantum work

Developing quantum secure communications is a priority for BT Group as quantum computing brings a threat to classical encryption.

“We’ve made great progress in this area and last year, together with Toshiba, we launched a world-first commercial trial of a quantum secured metro network, with EY becoming the first customer,” Whitley says.

The network is able to connect numerous customers across London, helping them to secure the transmission of valuable data and information between multiple physical locations using quantum key distribution (QKD).

On quantum computing, BT is working on two ‘Innovate UK’ funded quantum computing projects, in collaboration with several technology start-ups.

The first project is focused on infrastructure, and the Group is defining the requirements for setting up a quantum-enabled data centre.

For the second project, BT is exploring how quantum computers can provide benefits to telecoms applications such as circuit switching, packet routing, signal processing and antenna beam steering.

“Quantum technologies will bring about profound changes,” Whitley adds.

“The combined efforts of government, industry and academia will ensure that quantum technologies become an integral part of the UK’s digital backbone, unlocking innovation to drive growth and helping to build a thriving and resilient economy, while also contributing significant value to the UK’s prosperity and security.”

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