BT says it'll let Openreach go it alone on FTTP rollout

(Image credit: BT)

BT has announced it has parked plans to find a joint venture partner that would help it roll out its full-fibre broadband network across the UK.

The company's Openreach arm had been exploring the potential of signing up with a seperate party as it looked to establish full fibre across the country, particularly to rural areas.

But in its latest results, BT noted that as costs of its fibre to the premise (FTTP) builds, which provide the backbone to the network, have fallen, and customer demand has skyrocketed during the pandemic, it no longer feels it needs an extra partner.

BT Openreach

"After a record six months, Openreach has now rolled out full fibre broadband to almost 6m premises and continues to lower its build cost," said BT chief executive Philip Jansen.

"Its three largest customers are signed up to the new pricing offer as we see rapid adoption of what will be the UK’s first nationwide full fibre network spanning 25m premises by 2026."

Openreach also saw impressive results in the first half of BT's financial year, seeing a 5% revenue increase to reach £2.70bn.

Overall, BT reported adjusted core earnings of £3.75bn despite a 3% decline in its first-half revenue, dropping to £10.3bn following falls across its enterprise and global units and middling performance in its consumer division.

"These results demonstrate an acceleration of pace in the transformation of BT," noted Jansen. "We are creating a better BT for our customers, the country and our shareholders. We’re going further and faster on the UK’s next generation connectivity; we’re modernising BT and bringing down costs; and we’re reinstating the dividend today, as planned."

However the company did reveal it had met a £1bn cost savings target 18 months early, and would now look to bring forward its FY25 target for £2bn of savings to FY24. The strong financial position should also help it to stave off a rumored takeover bid by largest shareholder Patrick Drahi.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.