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Fujitsu plans to deliver super-fast broadband to rural UK

14 апреля 2011

Fujitsu. said Wednesday it will work together with Virgin Media Inc., TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC and Cisco Systems Inc. to deliver super-fast broadband to 5 million premises in rural parts of the U.K., an alternative to BT Group PLC's much bigger offering.

The Japanese technology firm said the collaboration and subsequent build of a new super-fast, fiber-optic broadband network is a "groundbreaking and innovative alternative" to BT's Openreach division, and provides an opportunity to access some of the GBP530 million earmarked by the U.K. government to drive investment in super-fast broadband in rural communities.

Fujitsu is "willing to invest in the order of GBP1.5 billion to GBP2 billion" in the project over the next three to five years, of which around GBP500 million is expected to come from the U.K. government, a Fujitsu spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires.

U.K. Communication Minister Ed Vaizey said:"Creating this super-fast broadband network will help improve the economic and social prospects of the homes and businesses where high-speed Internet access remains just a dream."

Fujitsu's open-access wholesale network will be underpinned by Cisco's technology. Virgin Media and TalkTalk intend to access wholesale products via the network in order to sell their services to customers in remote parts of the U.K. The network will also be open to other service providers on wholesale terms.

U.K. telecommunications company BT is spending GBP2.5 billion on its fiber broadband network, which it plans to roll out to two-thirds of the U.K. by 2015. Last September, BT announced that it would roll out its super-fast broadband network to Cornwall, southwest England, thanks to funding from the European Union.

MF Global analyst David Hogg said he doesn't believe Fujitsu's plans will cause a headache for BT, noting the Japanese company is applying for a portion of the GBP530 million U.K. government fund for getting super-fast broadband to remote areas, and aren't looking to roll out competing fiber infrastructure.

BT, which will also be applying for a portion of the U.K. government fund, has "economies of scale to help it in its bidding efforts," which Fujitsu doesn't, he noted.

Fujitsu was one of the original contractors in the much troubled National Health Service contract before withdrawing,"so the U.K. government's predisposition toward Fujitsu is unlikely to be positive," Hogg said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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