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“We are ready to play our part”: BT pledges support for Boris Johnson’s full-fibre broadband rollout plans

During his successful campaign to become Prime Minister Johnson said pledged to “unleash full fibre for all by 2025”

 BT’s CEO has said his company is poised and ready to help Boris Johnson’s government roll out full-fibre broadband to all corners of the UK.

During his successful campaign to become prime minister in July, Johnson said it is a “disgrace that many rural areas and towns are simply left behind,” when it comes to internet speeds and pledged to “unleash full fibre for all by 2025”.

This is eight years earlier than the government’s previous target for 100% coverage by 2033.

During its latest quarterly earnings call, BT’s Philip Jansen said he welcomes the government’s ambition for full-fibre broadband across the country adding: “We are ready to play our part to accelerate the pace of rollout, in a manner that will benefit both the country and our shareholders, and we are engaging with the government and Ofcom on this.”

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BT is on course to install fibre connections into four million homes and businesses by March 2021 with plans to connect 15 million over the next five years, if the right level of investment and support from the government and regulator is met.

During the earnings call, Jansen said BT’s Openreach had installed fibre to 267,000 premises in Q1 2019/20, bringing the total number of homes to 3.7 million.

Jansen admitted future rollout plans would “be a major feat of engineering that will require significant investment, planning and also manpower” and called on the government to take decisive action to get the ball rolling.

Elsewhere during the call, Jansen reported a 1% fall in first-quarter adjusted revenue to £5.63 billion and adjusted core earnings to £1.96 billion. This quarter saw the launch of 5G via BT’s subsidiary EE in the UK, making the network operator the first to offer these services.

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