BT's open fibre network now passes more than 19 million homes and businesses, represting about two thirds of UK premises.
BT originally said it would cover 19m premises with fibre by the end of 2015. It passed that total in March this year, around 21 months earlier than planned, with the vast majority of that footprint being enabled by BT under its commercial plan. The remainder has been enabled in partnership with the public sector.
BT noted that its fibre rollout has been among the fastest in the world. The UK now has the widest fibre availability of the EU 'big 5' countries as well as the highest take up of the technology and the most competitive marketplace. UK fibre availability currently stands at 73 per cent of premises when all networks are taken into account. This widespread availability compares with just 20-25 per cent for France.
Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, BT Group said: “Fibre broadband is the future and BT has invested billions of pounds to ensure as many people as possible can benefit. The early achievement of this milestone marks the culmination of several years of hard work by our engineers and planners. They have pulled out all the stops to bring fibre to a vast expanse of the country over a very short period and I would like to thank them for their efforts and commitment.
“Great progress has been made but we aren't stopping here. We need to ensure as many people as possible have access to fibre and that is why our engineering teams are working hard to extend the digital superhighway into rural areas.
"The UK broadband market is intensely competitive and consumers are enjoying fantastic value for money. Broadband speeds have increased dramatically over the last decade whereas prices have tumbled. Customers are the winners."