BT Group's infrastructure unit Openreach has signed an agreement with American networking and communications firm Adtran to limit its dependence on Chinese company Huawei and to speed up construction of a fibre-based broadband system across Britain.
The deal will also help Britain's biggest landline network to meet the guidelines introduced by the government earlier this year, the company says.
According to the government's new rules, 'high-risk' vendors (such as Huawei) are excluded from sensitive 'core' parts of 5G and gigabit-capable networks, with a 35 per cent cap on high-risk vendors supplying parts to the non-sensitive areas of 5G and high-speed fibre-based networks.
Huawei currently accounts for 44 per cent of the UK's full-fibre market, as per government data.
BT, which currently has Huawei and Finnish Nokia Oyj as strategic partners, said earlier this year that complying with the government's new rules might cost it £500 million.
Openreach says it aims to provide ultrafast broadband service to 20 million homes before the end of the year with its Full Fibre network, and Adtran's SDX Series of optical line terminals (OLTs) and Mosaic Cloud Platform will help it to achieve that ambition.
More than 600 retail carriers across the UK currently rely on Openreach to offer a broad portfolio of services to resident customers, enterprises, and small-to-medium businesses.
Openreach claims to have the biggest fibre broadband network in the UK, covering more than 27 million premises.
"We're already making our new ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband network available to around 32,000 UK homes and businesses every week - and we're on track to reach our target of reaching four and a half million premises with 'Full Fibre' by the end of March 2021," said Peter Bell, Network Technologies Director at Openreach.
According to Bell, Adtran's fibre network solutions will enable Openreach to build a better, faster and broader network for the customers, thereby helping Britain to "bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic".
Dan Whalen, Adtran's chief product office, said that the company is excited to be a part of Openreach's plan and the selection proves that "Adtran's open, disaggregated approach to service creation and delivery is a blueprint for the telecommunications industry".
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