BT Group has released its coverage results for 2018, showing Openreach’s FTTP and G.fast based ultrafast broadband coverage with speeds of 100Mbps+ at 2.6 million premises. This is up from 1.97 million premises in the previous quarter with take-up of FTTP at 29.9 per cent.
However, take-up of G.fast is only at 0.88 per cent but is expected to cover a further 2 million premises. Significantly faster to deploy, G.fast started being rolled out last year but is not currently being promoted as heavily as other packages.
Amidst revelations of further G.fast rollouts and a plan to hire an additional 3,000 engineers this year, Openreach has now also reached a deal with ISP customers for an automatic compensation scheme for broadband delays and disruptions. A trial of the future self-install for G.fast has also commenced.
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Group, said: “We have continued to deliver consistently against our strategic objectives in a tough market, resulting in another sound quarter of operational and financial performance.
“In Consumer we launched the next version of our converged consumer offering, BT Plus with Complete Wi-Fi. Following successful trials in London we announced our plan to launch 5G in 16 UK cities in 2019. Openreach accelerated its FTTP commissioning and has now passed 890,000 premises. We are ready to expand our FTTP programme up to and beyond 10 million premises if the conditions are right.
“Our overall outlook for the full year remains unchanged, with EBITDA around the top end of our guidance for FY 2018/19. We continue to expect regulation, market dynamics, cost inflation and legacy product declines to impact in the short term before being more than offset by improved trading and cost transformation by our 2020/21 financial year.”
FTTP has been receiving a good take-up rate, being a more established technology but with Openreach’s deployment of ultrafast broadband, FTTP may reduce.