A recent report showed that less an one percent of UK households are currently able to receive broadband speeds of 25Mbps or higher. According to the BBC, Fujitsu plans to change this by constructing a rural fibre network throughout mainland UK, "assuming we are successful we would hope to add our first retail customer in 2012 and reach 5 million in three to five years" said Andy Stevenson, the Managing Director of Network Solutions at Fujitsu. The company are asking for £500m funding from the UK Government, which will be mostly paid for by the license fee and money already set aside for this type of project.
British Telecom (BT) is the current number one provider with 5.5 million customers, followed by Virgin Media with over 4 million subscribers, and although Virgin already offers 100Mbps services, their fibre network does not cover much outside of the south, and the picture is a similar one with BT. In Recent reports into European broadband speeds, the UK found itself near the bottom of almost all of them, and Fujitsu hopes that by building this network there will be more consistency of speed and quality throughout the country.
However all of this does depend on additional funding from local councils, "We don't want to end up with 40 fragmented networks so it makes sense for regions to come together. That is not mandated but it is what we expect to happen," said Stevenson. So far Virgin Media and Talk-Talk have already said they will be using the network which will be built over BT's existing infrastructure using telephone poles and underground ducting.