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BT commits to further full-fibre network expansion; CEO Jansen ‘open-minded’ on BT Sport sale

Philip Jansen

BT will extend the full-fibre Openreach network to 27 new locations by the end of 2026.

The additional locations, including Addiewll in Scotland and Salcombe in Devon, will reach an additional 5 million homes and businesses to a total of 25 million premises on the Openreach fibre network.

This addition takes the total of locations on Openreach’s Fibre First programme to almost 800, with a total proposed cost of £12 billion.

The announcement came as BT announced its full year 2020 results. The company announced that its revenue was down by 7% as a result of Covid-19 on its consumer and enterprise businesses to a total of £21.3 billion.  EBITDA £7.4 billion, down 6% which the company said was “as expected”.

BT said that its adjusted revenue would be flat for the year with earnings at between £7.5-7.7 billion.

Commenting on the results, BT CEO Phillip Jansen said: “BT comes out of this challenging year as a stronger business with an even greater sense of purpose.

“After a number of years of tough work, and as we look to build back better from the pandemic, we’re now pivoting to consistent and predictable growth. We are building a better BT for our customers, for the country, for our shareholders and for those who work for this great company – now and in the future.”

Speaking to analysts on the company’s earnings call, Jansen also talked up BT’s TV business, specifically the previously announced content deal with Sky. A number of Sky channels have been available on BT TV via Now TV, but plans to integrate them via the core proposition have been delayed.

Jansen said that “it’s coming” and that, when they do launch “We’re going to have a very much more powerful TV proposition.”

On the call, Jansen also commented on BT’s explored sale of BT Sport, saying that he was “open-minded” on the options available. 

He noted that “It’s possible that we do some sort of partnership or joint venture, and of course it is possible that we don’t end up with BT Sport because there’s a better owner of it who can invest more than we will invest.”