Boris Johnson ups the ante on FTTH rollout in the UK

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Johnson, who is tipped to become the UK’s next Prime Minster, knocks eight years off current targets.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Johnson said his government would pledge to provide fibre to the home (FTTH) coverage to 100% of the population by 2025.

He pointed to the great progress made in FTTH in Spain and said there was no reason that the UK couldn’t emulate it. He wrote, “Let’s say goodbye to the UK’s manana approach to broadband and unleash full fibre for all by 2025.”

In the current Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), the UK Government set 2033 as the target for full-fibre broadband for all households.
The Government wants to see fibre to15 million premises to by 2025.

Big hill to climb

According to the latest FTTH Council Europe’s figures, the UK is at the bottom of the rankings for fibre penetration rates, in thirty-fourth place, with a penetration rate of just over 1%.

Estonia is at the top of the ranking, as it has been for three years, with 50% penetration rate.

As with mobile penetration, covering the main concentrations of population is not the issue, but the 10% who live in remote areas, and sometimes in challenging territory geographically speaking.

Assuming Johnson becomes Prime Minister, and assuming he sticks to his word regarding FTTH – neither of which are foregone conclusions – exactly what the funding model will be remains to be seen.

His grasp of funding – such as for the NHS after Brexit– has proven to be somewhat unreliable.