BT could bring FTTX to 17 million homes with the government's help

BT (NYSE: BT) may be making continual progress with its Fiber to the X (FTTX) network rollout, but the incumbent carrier believes it could reach about 90 percent of the country's homes by 2017 if it could tap into £830 million ($1.3 billion) in funds the government will make available, reports the Financial Times.

Ian Livingston, BT's CEO, said it would be able to reach its FTTX deployment goal if it could get access to a piece of the TV license fee slated to support rural broadband deployments.

And while BT is spending £2.5 billion ($4.01 billion) to make its FTTX network, which includes a mixture of Fiber to the Cabinet with copper-based VDSL2 and Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), to 16 million homes and businesses by 2015, it won't extend the network beyond that mark if it doesn't get some government funding.  

"We think we could get to over 90 percent of the UK ... 2017 is not an unrealistic timescale," Livingston said in the report.

Of course, BT is not alone in its desires. It will have to fight its main rival cable operator Virgin Media, which will likely make a play for the government funds to expand their own HFC and fiber broadband networks.

As of the end of September, BT reported it had switched over 1.6 million of its 5.34 million retail broadband subscribers to its FTTC-based 20 Mbps service and it had 38,000 FTTH broadband subscribers.

For more:
- Financial Times has this article

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