UK telecommunications and network provider BT is considering a partnership with external funding parties as part of its national fibre rollout programme.

BT, through its independent fixed access infrastructure arm Openreach, plans to partner with external investors to help increase and accelerate its total fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) from 20m to 25m premises by December 2026.

BT said Openreach’s fibre rollout capability, combined with regulatory clarity, tax changes and the positive outcome from the recent 5G spectrum auction, has made the conditions right to ramp up the fibre rollout strategy. It will explore joint venture structures over the first half of the current financial year which started in April.

BT said it has the capacity to fund its ongoing fibre rollout programme entirely from internal resources but believes it could deliver further shareholder value by funding the additional 5m premises through a joint venture with external parties.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT Group said: “Today we are increasing our FTTP target from 20m to 25m homes and businesses to deliver further value to our shareholders and support the government’s full-fibre ambitions.

“This has three massive benefits: it allows us to go faster, beefing up our capacity to build fibre to households and businesses; it allows us to go further, getting fibre to more people including in rural communities, and; it will help fuel UK economic recovery, with better connectivity and up to 7,000 new jobs.”

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