Openreach is scaling back the UK’s ultrafast fiber broadband network

Openreach is to limit its investment in the rollout of ultrafast fiber broadband as BT moves forward with an intensive cost-cutting scheme.

The telecom giant’s network division has reached out to suppliers, saying it will build the network “narrower and deeper” and tighten time frames. Financial Times.

“This will necessarily include an element of termination or termination of employment that you have accepted and/or approved,” the letter said. “It is clear that there will be a financial impact on you as we implement these plans.”

It comes after the FTSE 100 firm announced a new cost-cutting target of £2.5bn to £3bn by the end of 2025 as a result of inflationary pressure.

Chief executive Philip Jansen said that while he supported the current efficiencies, the firm “needs to take further action on our costs to maintain the cash flow needed to support our network investments”.

The firm has seen its energy bills rise by £200m this year and continued pressure from strike action by the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

Boris Johnson’s government has promised to “level up” the nation by providing most homes with next-generation fast broadband by 2025, hoping to close gaps in rural areas.

The decision to limit expansion plans could work to the advantage of key rivals such as Virgin Media O2, who could take advantage of BT’s slowdown.

An Openreach spokesman said: “We expect to be rolling out ultrafast full-fibre broadband to more homes and businesses next year, rather than less, so we’re accelerating, not slowing down.

“As our latest results show, we are investing £200m more in construction this year than we expected and bookings for Full Fiber services are at record levels. In fact, nine million homes and businesses can now order our Full Fiber service from a wide range of service providers, so it makes sense for us to devote more resources to upgrading customers and fulfilling orders as quickly and easily as possible.

We’ve also partially built a new network for another six million buildings, so we’re focused on getting that done.”