Fibre-optic Britain could cost £30bn

Cable ties
Cable ties

The cost of getting every UK home onto fibre-optic super-fast broadband could be close to £30 billion according to the government's broadband advisory group.

With increasing numbers of Britain's population now looking to receive much faster connections, the government's Broadband Stakeholder Group has put the cost of rolling out fibre-optic cable across the country at between £5.1 billion and a staggering £28.8 billion depending on what technology is used.

"This is the most comprehensive analysis produced to date on the costs of deploying fibre in the UK," said BSG chief executive Antony Walker.

"The scale of the costs looks daunting but the report does shed light on how some of these costs can be reduced and what the likely extent of commercial rollout will be.

"It should focus minds of commercial players, policy makers and regulators on the potential solutions to these challenges."

Arterial surgery

The cheaper solution would be to overhaul the national infrastructure with fibre to the cabinet – essentially enhancing the main arteries but leaving the connections from the junction to the home as traditional copper.

However, the price rises massively if point to point fibre is used, linking in each individual home, especially in rural areas.

The BSG believes that use of existing telecommunications ducts and the use of things like water pipes or even overhead cables could cut that figure, but the true price of bringing the UK's communications into the 21st century is becoming apparent.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.