London: Openreach, the infrastructure division of BT, said it would open commercial access to its telegraph poles and ducts to other operators later this month, in a move that could speed up the rollout of superfast broadband across Britain.
The announcement comes after Openreach lowered the prices it would charge operators to use the infrastructure in October after talks with the regulator Ofcom and operators.
Fujitsu, which is trialling the service and which connected its first customers in the Wirral in North West England last week, welcomed the development.
“Whilst there are still some points of detail we’re working through ahead of commercial launch, we’ve been reassured by Openreach’s collaborative approach towards pricing and product development, which gives us the confidence to move forward,” said Andy Stevenson, head of Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe.
Sudhir Narang of British Telecom India speaks about his company’s plans for ramping up its operations and what can be done to resolve the issue of domestic outsourcing.
Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield said: “Pole and duct access will enable communications providers to deliver superfast broadband speeds in areas outside the existing commercial footprint, so we felt it was important to launch the product as fast as possible.”
BT said last month it would offer superfast broadband speeds of up to 300 megabits per second both to its retail customers and rivals from next spring.
It is investing £2.5 billion ($4 billion) to make fibre broadband services available to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015.
The government is making £830 million available in the period up to 2017 to encourage operators to extend the superfast network into other regions.