May 13, 2021

BT to allow external investors to fund fibre network

BT has opened the door to external investors funding an expansion of its fibre network for the first time after saying it would explore joint venture options over the coming months. BT has been exploring ways to unlock the value of its Openreach network division over the past year as European telecoms companies look to tap into strong demand from infrastructure funds and private equity companies for network assets. BT said last year that it would spend £12bn on its plan to upgrade old copper networks to full fibre lines that offer faster speeds and more reliable service. The plan has been contingent on a number of factors for BT which included a regulatory framework from Ofcom that provided certainty that new fibre lines would not be subject to onerous regulation in the short term. BT said its revenue for the year to March fell 7 per cent to £21.3bn while pre-tax profit dropped 23 per cent to £1.8bn due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its consumer and business units.

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