Report: Google Fiber eyeing UK as next broadband stop, poses challenge to BT

Tools

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been looking at bringing its 1 Gbps-capable fiber to the home (FTTH) project to the UK, shaking up the country's broadband market that's been dominated by incumbent telco BT, reports The Telegraph.

The Internet search giant reportedly conducted talks with CityFibre about how it could extend its service into a European country. While those plans were scrapped due to CityFibre's existing partnership with competitive broadband and satellite provider BSkyB, Google is still looking to build out fiber-based networks in the UK, according to the report.

Separately, BSkyB and TalkTalk are funding what they say is a "pilot" FTTH network that would serve 20,000 homes and businesses in York.

Similar to Google Fiber, BSkyB and TalkTalk are planning to offer 1 Gbps speeds and video services over their planned network in York. In addition, the two service providers are looking at building networks in other Tier 2 cities, such as Coventry and Peterborough, where CityFibre has already installed fiber.

According to unnamed sources, one of CityFibre's concerns was that BSkyB would view Google Fiber as a future pay-TV competitor, according to the Telegraph report. 

"Google historically have always publicly said they would never build fibre outside the US," the source said. "But in the background they are talking to people here in the UK and looking at projects. It makes sense; Britain is their biggest market outside the US."

Unnamed Google sources said they did hold talks with CityFibre but did not reach any terms, adding that they have no immediate plans to bring FTTH to the UK.

For more:
- The Telegraph has this article

Related articles:
Google Fiber targets 34 more cities as potential FTTH recipients
Google Fiber brings AT&T, CenturyLink to the FTTH table - Year in Review 2013
Google Fiber to buy iProvo network, upgrade Utah city to 1 Gbps
Google Fiber comes to Austin, mayor announces