BT submitted a cost proposal for sharing telecoms infrastructure with the UK’s three other major mobile operators as part of a Shared Rural Network plan, arguing its prior investments must be respected.
In a statement, Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said the proposal made to the UK government “clearly outlines the reciprocal costs we feel should be paid to get access to one another’s sites”.
The Shared Rural Network plan, presented to the UK government in October 2019, outlined an investment of £530 million by the UK’s four operators to address 4G coverage gaps in underserved areas. The government also committed to invest up to £500 million, as part of the £1 billion plan, with the aim of delivering access to 95 per cent of the country by 2025.
However, some key details for the network remain to be finalised.
BT’s proposal is one of them. The company said it spent more than its rivals on its 4G infrastructure, and its prior investments must be taken into account with the shared network.
Allera said its costing is based on the value of the mobile sites today, and the investment made to get the sites up, built and working.
“We think it’s fair and reasonable that this investment and the current value of the site are both taken into account, and need to be recognised when others come to share it,” said Allera. “Of course, this goes both ways and should ensure that the fair approach to rural coverage that the SRN was designed to introduce is maintained.”
Allera added BT was delighted to be part of the SRN, and it wanted to finalise the programme as quickly as possible.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back