Across the array of infrastructure providers committed to laying fibre to the doorstep, there have been promises of millions of connections over the coming five-to-seven years, making 1Gbps connections available to a substantial proportion of the country’s 27 million households as well as business premises. However, with each additional rollout claim, there appears to be an increasing likelihood of overbuilding, with several providers looking to dig up the same streets to reach their targets.

In all of the initial eight Fibre First cities Openreach has identified, there is at least one potential fibre rival present, and in some cases there are potentially three.

It is possible that each operator is targeting different localities within a town, and a rollout could progress without any operator infringing on another’s manor. However, it seems likely that future phases of deployment will see operators attempt to expand their local influence, and create turf wars down the line.

To address this risk of streets underlaid with dense cords of competing optical fibre, the government, if it is committed to universal fibre availability in the foreseeable future, may need to step in. It could be necessary to work alongside Ofcom to attempt to guide or corral the investment plans popping up across the sector, or risk the UK being split between the have-nots and have-more-than-enoughs.

Image: BTwatch / Market Mettle.

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

GROUP

  • Huawei commits another £3bn to UK investment

Q3 FY17-18

BT takes it on the chin with another tough quarter [p6]

  • BT taking a flurry of shots, but is Patterson playing rope-a-dope?
  • Table 1: BT Group, financial highlights, Q3 FY17-18

Q3 FY17-18 by the numbers: decline and fall [p8]

  • Table 2: BT Group, performance by unit, Q3 FY17-18 (adjusted) *

The divisions: mobile propping up traditional BT [p9]

  • Table 3: People movement highlights

CONSUMER/EE

5G

BT preps for 5G with new Nokia chipset [p13]

  • Table 4: 5G Momentum Index: BT/EE ecosystem, to January 2018
  • Nokia ready for 5G NR with new gear
  • Nokia vies with Huawei on 5G collaboration

BT Sport

BT pays more for less, as Sky scores Premier rights [p15]

  • Figure 1: Premier League auction, price paid per match, 2019-22 first phase
  • More rights up for grabs, but broadcasters wary of spending
  • Back to square one with Sky’s Saturday lunchtime leftovers
  • Figure 2: BT programme rights charges, 2015-2017
  • Beginning of the end for BT’s sporting adventure?
  • Crystal ball watching: could BT Sport be transferred out?

Products and services

New 4G router-antenna to tackle broadband ‘not-spots’ [p18]

  • A commercial solution to universal service challenges

Legal and regulatory

EE could face £120m cost from Phones 4u collapse [p21]

  • Spectrum auction edges forward as Three appeal dismissed
  • ASA also finds Three misled public with spectrum campaign

BUSINESS AND PUBLIC SECTOR

Health sector

BT warns of HSCN challenges [p24]

  • BT keeps heading down the comeback trail

GLOBAL SERVICES

Partners

BT bigs up “critical” partner Cisco [p27]

  • SD-WAN leading the way in BT’s new world
  • Cisco presence within BT base underpinning importance of relationship
  • BT focused on five major virtualisation use-cases

BT Security

BT to share malware detection information with UK ISPs [p28]

OPENREACH

Fibre

Openreach takes a step forward with Fibre First declaration… [p31]

  • Fibre First not just a build, it’s a way of life
  • Table 5: Ultrafast network competitor presence in Openreach Fibre First locations
  • Openreach looking for more partners
  • Clive Selley’s fibre army

… eight cities named, more to follow [p32]

  • BT strikes back against altnets and Lightning
  • Turf wars and trench warfare
  • The pace and price of deployments
  • Figure 3: UK fibre operators FTTP rollout plans, 2018-25
  • Figure 4: Estimated build costs per premise passed, UK fibre operators
  • Rural areas not entirely forgotten
  • New plans suggest a modest uplift on infrastructure investment
  • Openreach with little to lose and much to gain?
  • £7 value boost dependent on trinity of factors

….Openreach identifies the enabling conditions for fibre fruition [p35]

  • Openreach can still walk away

Fibre enthusiasm raises questions on G.fast future [p36]

  • Fibre up front, G.fast in defence
  • Gov’t not blown away by Openreach ambition
  • Fibre future in the Sky?

TalkTalk joins in with its own fibre plan [p38]

  • TalkTalk anticipates turning off its copper
  • Fibre bandwagon gets crowded

Digital Britain

Openreach meets 95% ‘fibre’ coverage deadline in UK [p39]

  • Clawback funding ensures work is ongoing
  • Progress also made in devolved nations, but more work to be done
  • Wales moving on as Openreach wraps up leftovers
  • Key points of the renewed Welsh broadband strategy

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Index

Symbols

21st Century Fox 37
– Sky
– Sky Sports 18

A

Accenture 10
Advertising Standards Authority 22
Amazon 16
Apple 6, 9, 15
AT&T 15

B

BG Group 10
BoxNation 15
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 15, 18
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 31, 36, 39
BT Group 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 19, 22, 25, 34, 36, 37, 39
– BT Business & Public Sector 9, 24, 25
– BT Consumer 9, 13, 15, 37
– BT Infinity 19, 25
– – BT TV 9
– BT Global Services 7, 9, 10, 26, 27
– BT Connect 27
– – BT Germany 10
– – BT Italia 8
– – BT Security 6, 27, 28
– BT Technology, Service and Operations
– Infinity Lab 25
– BT Wholesale & Ventures 8, 9, 10
– BT Fleet 9
– EE 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24
– Emergency Services Network 19
– Executives
– Allera, Marc 17
– – Amer, John 10
– – Hall, Jason 25
– – Hart, Michala 10
– – Hughes, Mark 6, 28
– – Hull, James 10
– – Langridge, Keith 27
– – Lidiard, Mark 10
– – Lowth, Simon 10, 17, 34
– – McRae, Neil 13
– – Mears, Kim 40
– – O’Neill, Colm 25
– – Patterson, Gavin 7
– – Selley, Clive 9, 31, 32, 40
– – Shihabi, Eyad 10
– – Smith, Martin 10
– – Willetts, Helen 10
– – Zekkou, Paola 10
– Ex-executives
– Dunne, Niall 10
– – Petter, John 17
– Openreach 6, 7, 9, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

C

Cabinet Office (UK) 25
Cambridge University 6
Carillion 41
– Carillion telent 41
China Telecom 15
Cisco
– Meraki 27
Cisco Systems, Inc. 27
CityFibre 31, 32, 33, 38, 39
CK Hutchison 22
– Three Group
– Three UK 22
Colt Technology Services 8

D

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, UK)
– Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 39, 40
– Hancock, Matt 36
Deutsche Telekom 14, 15
Digital Britain 39

E

Equinix 8
Ericsson 14

F

Facebook 22
Football Association 15
– Premier League 9, 15, 16, 17, 19

G

Gemalto 15
Gigaclear 38
Google 13

H

Hewlett Packard Enterprise 10
High Court 21, 22
HP Inc 10, 15
HSBC 10
Huawei
– Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre 6
Huawei Technologies 6, 14
– Neul 6
Hyperoptic 32, 39

I

InfraCapital 38
Intel 15

K

Kingston Communications (KCOM) 9
Korea Telecom 14

L

Lenovo 15
LG 14
Liberty Global 39
– Virgin Media 7, 17, 22, 32, 39
Lite Access 41

M

MediaTek 13
M&G Prudential 38
Microsoft 15
MotoGP 15

N

National Health Service (NHS, UK) 24, 25
– N3 24
Node4 8
Nokia 13, 14, 38
– Nokia Bell 14
NTT 14

O

Ofcom 7, 19, 22, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40
– White, Sharon 22, 35
Orange 10, 15
Orange Business Services 10

P

Panorama Antennas 18
Phones4u 21
PricewaterhouseCoopers 21

Q

Qualcomm 14, 15, 18

R

Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies 10

S

Sceenic 19
SK Telecom 14
Sprint 15
Superfast Cymru 40, 41

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 10, 22, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38, 39
TechHub 19, 25
Technology
– 3D 19
– Broadband 7, 9, 18, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41
– DSL 14
– Ethernet 8, 24
– Fibre 6, 7, 14, 24, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
– Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) 37
– Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 6, 7, 9, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40
– G.fast 31, 34, 36, 37, 39
– IP 9, 14
– LTE 14, 15
– OTT 15, 16
– Wi-Fi 13, 18, 24
Telecom Italia SpA 15
Telefónica 21
telent 41
Telent
– Carillion telent 41
TeliaSonera AB 14

U

UEFA 15, 17

V

Verizon Communications 15
Vodafone 6, 14, 15, 21, 32, 36, 39
– UK 21, 32

W

Welsh Assembly 40
World Economic Forum 28

About

About BTwatch

Report: #293
Published: February 2018
Next report: March 2018
For more information visit: BTwatch