BT boss delivers his vision for country’s ‘digital future’

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson has unveiled proposals which are hoped will give a major boost to broadband speeds in the North East.

Speaking at BT’s Delivering Britain’s Digital Future conference in London, Patterson announced pledges designed to go further and tackle slow speeds in hard-to-reach parts of the country; achieve a step-change in speeds overall, with ultrafast rollout starting next year; improve customer service, through a number of commitments unveiled by Openreach.

Patterson said: “For the past five years, the UK has been the largest digital economy in the G20, by percentage of GDP.

“We think the UK has an even brighter future ahead if we make the right decisions today.

“We want to forge an ultrafast future for Britain and stand ready to help government deliver the broadband speeds necessary for every property to enjoy modern-day internet services, such as high-definition TV streaming and cloud computing.

“To achieve this, we need a collaborative effort across industry and government.”

Simon Roberson, regional partnership director for BT in the North East, said: “These proposals will have a major impact on the future success and prosperity of the North East.

“BT is already leading the way with nearly 900,000 households and businesses in the region having access to high-speed fibre broadband – and that number continues to grow each week.

“In an increasingly competitive world, this further major investment will be another vital boost for our region. Nobody is doing more than BT to ensure that the North East has world-class broadband communications.”

Patterson committed BT to supporting government in delivering a new universal minimum broadband speed of 5-10Mbps, enough for everyone in the UK to enjoy popular internet services like high-definition video.

He also announced BT’s desire to go ‘further and faster’ and extend fibre broadband beyond the UK’s current plans for 95 per cent of premises.

Meanwhile, moving on from superfast technology, the aim is for ultrafast speeds to reach 10million UK premises by the end of 2020.