Super fast broadband boosts UK business; Calls to break up BT & sell Openreach

The roll out of super fast broadband in the UK has increased revenues for businesses and created jobs, says a report by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sporttitled: “The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Super fast Broadband Programme, covering 2012 to 2016.”

“We’ve also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fiber services which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy,” Openreach chief Clive Selley said.

“Our roll-out of superfast broadband across the UK has been the most challenging infrastructure project in a generation, but is one of our greatest successes,” said digital minister Margot James. “We are reaching thousands more homes and businesses every week that can now reap the clear and tangible benefits that superfast broadband provides. We are helping to ensure the downfall of the digital divide.”
Superfast broadband can be defined either as a service capable of delivering speeds above 24Mbps (the threshold used by DCMS) or 30Mbps (the threshold used by Ofcom). However, it should not be confused with full-fibre – also known as fibre-to-the-premises – broadband, which can generally deliver ultrafast speeds of over 100Mbps.
Superfast broadband is almost always delivered using fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses fibre backhaul to street cabinets and copper cables to bridge the last mile between the cabinet and the premises.
About five million homes and businesses can now access a superfast service through BDUK, with take-up running at 45%, double the expected rate, which, as previously reported, has seen millions returned by Openreach to advance the programme further still.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “It is great to see businesses across the UK reaping the benefits of faster broadband speeds and I am proud of the leading role that Openreach has played in helping to deliver the government’s roll-out of superfast broadband – one of Britain’s great engineering achievements.
“We have also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fibre services, which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy.”
References:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45238452

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/need-for-speed-drives-superfast-broadband-boost-for-wales

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From the FT (see reference below):

Several large shareholders are pushing for a spin off of BT’s Openreach, the regulated part of the former UK incumbent that owns and manages the national broadband infrastructure.  BT said: “Openreach is an important part of BT and there are no active plans to sell the business.”
Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, looked as part of a long-running market review at whether the broadband market would be better served if Openreach were fully independent. BT agreed to a series of measures to improve the independence of Openreach, including establishing the business as a legally separate company, to appease its critics while maintaining ownership of the network.

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