Fujitsu has announced a plan to help bring next-generation broadband to five million rural homes around Britain in collaboration with TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Cisco.
Seen as an alternative to BT Openreach, the collaboration and subsequent Fujitsu build of a new superfast, fibre optic broadband network provides an opportunity for any community or local authority looking to access a proportion of the £530 million earmarked by the UK Government to help drive investment in superfast broadband in rural communities. Virgin Media and TalkTalk have indicated they intend to access wholesale products via this network in order to retail next generation services to customers in remote parts of the UK. In the vast majority of areas, Fujitsu plan to run fibre optic cabling directly to the home (FTTH), rather than to the local street cabinet. As a result, the Fujitsu network will be capable of speeds of 1Gbps (both upstream and downstream) from day one with potential to go to 10Gbps and beyond – thus future-proofing the initiative.
Fujitsu believe that deployment across a wide range of underground and overhead infrastructure means that the network architecture will be entirely independent of existing street cabinets. This model enables public investment to be targeted in areas where broadband provision is poorest. “I am delighted that Fujitsu along with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco share the Government's vision. The collaboration between these companies was exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the Government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband rollout,” Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said.
BT is currently really only deploying fibre to cabinets (FTTC), which can only currently offer speeds of around 40Mbps but this could be increased to 60Mbps in the future, but will still become obsolete sooner rather than later. That’s why this future-proofed FTTH initiative from Fujitsu and its partners is to be welcomed – particularly by those in rural areas.