BT Estimates 80 Percent UK Total Fibre Broadband Footprint by Spring 2015 - ISPreview UK
A rough estimate released by BT Wholesale earlier this year has predicted that the operators total “fibre broadband” (FTTC / FTTP) network footprint will increase to reach 80% of the United Kingdom by Spring 2015.

At present BT ended Q4-2013 with its superfast capable and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) dominated roll-out of “fibre broadband” connectivity being made available to 18 million UK premises, which put them just shy of meeting their £2.5bn commercial deployment target for 66% coverage during spring 2014 (19 million homes and businesses).

The imminent results for Q1-2014 are thus likely to show the first target as being all but met and meanwhile BT has already indicated to us that its commercial deployment is now expected to continue on for a bit longer beyond the spring 2014 period’s target for two thirds of the country.

At the same time the Government’s £1.2bn Broadband Delivery UK programme will also be working with BT to ensure that 95% of the UK can access a fixed line superfast broadband (25Mbps+) service by 2017 (note: the BDUK target includes other networks, such as Virgin Media, although BT’s overall deployment covers many of the same areas). Prior to that BDUK anticipated coverage reaching around 90% by the end of 2015.

But until now very little has been known about the expectations for coverage of BT’s own FTTC/P network, beyond the public 66% target. However a recent document seen by ISPreview.co.uk reveals that BT are predicting their total fibre footprint, taking non-commercial areas into account as well as commercial, will extend to 80% by Spring 2015 (this is referenced alongside a figure of 21.5 million premises by March 2015). Another figure of 85% is also hinted at but not qualified in the document.

However it should be stressed that this is considered a rough estimate, which has been provided to the ISP industry in order to help them plan their own investments and thus BT are keen that it shouldn’t be viewed as an official target for the company.

So take this with a pinch of salt because sometimes such data can be misleading, much like how BT’s “Better Future” programme last year caused confusion when it talked about an “aim: to provide nine out of ten premises in the country with access to fibre based products and services by 2020” (here). At the time BT told ISPreview.co.uk, as part of a response, that they still “believe we can deliver fibre broadband to more than 90 per cent of UK premises via our network over the next three to four years” (i.e. 2016/17 – again not to be confused with BDUK’s general target).