Fujitsu plans next gen broadband for rural UK

Fujitsu has announced plans to collaboration with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco to deliver next generation internet services to five million homes in rural Britain.

Fujitsu described the proposed fibre optic network as a “ground breaking and innovative alternative to BT Openreach”. The company is eyeing the bulk of the £530 million (€598 million) set aside by the UK government to stimulate broadband projects, asking for £500 million of that amount. 

Cable operator Virgin Media and telco Talk Talk will use the network to offer internet services and it will also be open to local authorities. Fujitsu said their proposals would provide connectivity to at least five million households that would otherwise be unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in next generation networks.

In the vast majority of areas, Fujitsu will run fibre optic cabling directly to the home, rather than to the local street cabinet. As a result, the network will be capable of delivering speeds of 1Gbps from day one with the potential to go to 10Gbps. Much of the network will use BT’s underground ducting and phone poles that it has been forced to open up to competitors. Fujitsu will also use technology from Cisco.

Communication Minister Ed Vaizey said: “I am delighted that Fujitsu along with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco share the Government’s vision. The collaboration between these companies was exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the Government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband rollout. Fujitsu and their industry partners are pledging a substantial investment in the UK and it represents a deep commitment to the future success of this country.”

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