BT share price: Group to open up infrastructure to rival
BT Group (LON:BT.A) is in talks to open up its infrastructure to a rival, The Telegraph has reported. The move is a test of industry regulator Ofcom’s plan to introduce more competition for the telco’s Openreach network monopoly.
BT’s share price has jumped in today’ session, having added 1.15 percent to 448.30p as of 09:44 BST, and outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is 0.72 percent worse off at 6,196.67 points. The telco’s shares have lost just under five percent of their value in the year-to-date, as compared with a 0.75-percent dip in the Footsie.
Industry sources told The Telegraph over the weekend that BT’s Openreach division was in talks with, broadband network builder City Fibre about a large-scale fibre-optic roll-out over the FTSE 100 telco’s ducts and poles in Southend. BT is understood to be currently surveying its infrastructure in the Essex town to get the project under way.
The success of the proposed project could prove crucial to the former telecoms monopoly’s discussions with regulators over the future shape of the company after earlier this year Ofcom stopped short of recommending a break-up of the group but urged an overhaul of Openreach.
The newspaper quoted industry sources as commenting that BT’s discussions with City Fibre were already casting doubt over whether Ofcom’s plans for duct and pole sharing are feasible.
“There’s not enough capacity to build a fibre to the home network in some of these ducts,” one source told The Telegraph. “Some of BT’s poles are full too.”
The news comes ahead of the telco’s full-year results on Thursday. The Telegraph notes that consensus forecasts suggest that the company will report total sales of £18.8 billion, up five percent year-on-year, and pre-tax profit of £3.4 billion, up from £3.2 billion in the prior-year period.
As of 10:09 BST, Tuesday, 03 May, BT Group plc share price is 448.27p.