Superfast fibre optic broadband to be made available to millions of homes and businesses

Fujitsu to bring fast broadband to rural Britain

Fujitsu plans to build a superfast broadband network to service five million rural homes, rivalling BT's network.

Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco will work with Fujitsu on the next generation fibre optic broadband network which they say could transform rural broadband in the UK.

Cisco technology will underpin the Fujitsu open access wholesale network, and Virgin Media and Talk Talk will use the network to retail next generation services to customers in remote areas.

Other service providers will be able to access the network on wholesale terms.

"There is a unique opportunity for the UK to re-establish itself as a world leader by having the world’s most advanced fibre network," said Duncan Tait, CEO of Fujitsu UK and Ireland .

"If done correctly this can be a key vehicle to accelerate recovery in the UK and bring genuine choice to generations of communities starved of participating fully in the UK economy.

"We believe our approach will provide a future proofed network for at least the next 20 to 30 years."

Fujitsu's network will build on its experience of managing telecommunications networks and in building next generation “Fibre to the Home” (FTTH) networks.

Future-proofed connectivity will be provided to five million households, with most areas using FTTH fibre optic cabled network rather than local cabinets.

This could bring speeds of up to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second) and potentially more.

"We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the ambition of a digitally-enabled society a reality beyond the country's cities and towns," said Virgin Media’s CEO Neil Berkett.

Fujitsu’s network will be open access to all ISPs so customers can choose from a wide range of services over a single physical network connection, and will allow community and local authorities the opportunity to access some of the £530 million earmarked by the government to drive investment in superfast rural broadband.

"The collaboration between these companies was exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the Government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband rollout," said communications minister Ed Vaizey.

"Creating this superfast broadband network will help improve the economic and social prospects of the homes and businesses where high-speed internet access remains just a dream."

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