BT set to invest £6bn, increasing broadband speeds from 76Mbps to 300Mbps or more

After reporting a 15% rise in annual profits, to £3.03bn, and a total sales rise of 6% to around £19bn, BT Group has announced that it is putting plans in motion to begin upgrading 10 million premises by 2020 to "ultrafast" broadband, with an ambition to reach 12 million within the same timescale.

In BTs standards, 'ultrafast' means 300Mbps, possibly rising to 500Mbps. The improved service will be running on BTs technology; currently it is capable of speeds of up to 300Mbps, with trials already having taken place to reach the 500Mbps mark.

The average household broadband speed in the UK is currently a measly 29Mbps. The two main rivals of the fibre broadband market are BT and Virgin Media. The latter currently offers packages of up to 200Mbps (and is working on offering 1Gbps), with BT only reaching up to 76Mbps.

Upgrades to BTs service are "subject to regulatory certainty", pointing towards Ofcom needing to approve the changes. This is because BT Group owns BT Openreach, which owns most of the copper and fibre cabling that connects multiple broadband services, such as Sky and Plusnet.

Along with BT's investment in its broadband service, it is also focused on getting 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by 2020 under the EE network, which follows its purchase of EE in late January 2016.

Source: BBC News

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