BT CEO calls on new government to speed up fibre delivery and “cut through the red tape”

Philip Jansen

BT CEO Phillip Jansen has called on the newly elected Conservative government in the UK to increase its focus on delivering full-fibre broadband.

Jansen said: “There are lots of things for the new government to get done, few more important to the UK than speeding up the delivery of full-fibre broadband.” 

Fibre broadband was a hot topic of the election, with Labour pledging to nationalise BT’s fixed line network to provide free full-fibre broadband. 

Jansen had previously dubbed the plans “very, very ambitious ideas” and “not straight forward.” He also estimated that the pledge would cost €100 billion over the space of 10 years. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had referred to it as a “crackpot scheme” and that it was “fantastical”. In the Conservatives’ manifesto, £5 billion was pledged for investment in spreading broadband to “the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country” and promised a full-fibre network by 2025. 

Jansen today added: “Our new Ministers can take some simple, immediate steps to cut through the red tape and help us build like the clappers. We’ve got 33,000 brilliant Openreach engineers ready to roll.”

In 2018, Ofcom confirmed that BT was to make Openreach a legally separate company with its own board and employees. The regulator confirmed last month that it is consulting on a new proposal that could remove key pieces of regulation from Openreach in its FTTP exchange upgrade trials in Mildenhall and Salisbury.

BT will hope that a pro-business Conservative government that has already stated intent to invest in fibre will remove more of this “red tape” and increase its rollout.

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