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BT prepares for superfast broadband investment chinwag

Bland on the run

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BT has again hinted that it could be persuaded to upgrade the UK's aged copper and aluminium wires into homes and businesses to fibre-optic lines.

BT Retail chief Ian Livingstone has given one of the strongest indications yet that the firm sees a need for faster infrastructure, saying "BT remains very interested in further expanding the speed of access for customers, whether that be through faster copper, fibre to the home, [or] fibre to the cabinet".

He told the Financial Times that the firm will begin discussions with government and Ofcom in November or December.

The comments come after new competitiveness minister Steven Timms told the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) last week that the UK needed to up speeds to maintain its position in the global economy. He said the summit later this year with industry and regulators will examine the case for public sector investment.

The BSG published a report in April which said a market-led move to fibre was possible, but BT has argued the economics don't work outside new build developments.

This week will also see the end of an era at BT when departing chairman Christopher Bland makes way for new boy Michael Rake, who joins from accounting giant KPMG. ®

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