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Vodafone interrupts BT's new broadband plans

Nov 15th 2016, 10:36 by

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Vodafone are attempting to interrupt the roll out of rival BT’s new broadband service by asserting that the technology trials performed by BT in preparation for this rollout were in breach of regulatory board Ofcom’s rules.

BT’s Openreach are planning a rollout of what is known as G. fast broadband, a new ultrafast service which can deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps, to over 10 million British homes as part of £6 billion commitment undertaken by BT to ensure high quality broadband is delivered to more people throughout the UK by 2020.

In a letter written to Ofcom, Vodafone stated that although Openreach are legally able to roll out a fibre broadband service to any UK street cabinet (as agreed by a rule passed way back in 2009), it doesn’t mean they possess the authority to just deploy another, more advanced network.

Vodafone argue that a long consultation should take place between BT and its many competitors, which would significantly slow down the progress of the G. Fast rollout and provide an opportunity for anyone who doesn’t agree with the rollout to voice their opposition.

If BT do not honour Vodafone’s call for a consultation, the telecommunication giant could launch a lengthy legal investigation.

“We are disappointed that Vodafone is trying to delay the roll out of ultrafast broadband to 10m premises,” said a Openreach spokesman, “This is an unhelpful move that benefits no one”.

Already, Openreach has conducted trials of G. Fast broadband in 500 homes throughout Cambridgeshire, Wales and Newcastle. By the end of March 2017, it is hoped that these trials can be extended to over 138,000 homes and for a full commercial rollout to take place soon after.

Openreach is locked in a fierce battle with leading Swiss telecommunication company Swisscom in order to be the first European operator to successfully rollout G. Fast technology.

Source: Financial Times

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