With only 7 per cent of UK homes covered and a political pledge to achieve full fibre coverage by mid 2033, the market is ripe for network builder and BT's annoucement today that it would cut its dividend to connect 15m homes by the mid 30s is in line with the trend.
The truth is that building the fibre network comes at a cost and that cost increases, in particular, in rural areas. So something has got to give, and sometimes this means that things do not add up commercially, sadly.
This is where government and the regulator can help, in particular in promoting neutral network and network sharing to ensure that companies are able to recover the fruit of their effort, there is no over build and there is no no-zones. In this respect, last month's Ofcom publication on promoting competition and investment in the fibre networks was a good, albeit small, step in the right direction.
As the demand for 5G intensifies, it will be interesting to see how the market and the regulation of the market evolves.
BT has signalled it is prepared to cut its dividend in the future to fund its fibre build programme across the country.