BT's new CEO Allison Kirkby this week called for the UK to improve its existing telecoms infrastructure.

Kirkby, who joined the company earlier this year from Swedish telco Telia, also said that the Nordics is "way ahead" of the UK in telecoms infrastructure.

Alisson Kirkby
– BT Group

She added that the government should look again at planning laws to help improve poor connectivity.

"What I would say is Scandinavia is way ahead of the UK. Part of that is very much driven by the regulatory environment, the planning environment, and the general adoption of digital skills and digital services," said Kirkby this week at a Deloitte and Enders media and telecoms conference in London.

She noted in Sweden that around 80 percent of homes are connected by entirely fiber-optic lines.

BT, through its broadband-focused subsidiary Openreach, is just over halfway into its £15 billion ($19bn) fiber rollout, aiming to deliver full fiber connectivity to 25 million homes by December 2026.

It's passed around 14 million premises, while the company's mobile brand EE, currently covers 75 percent of the UK's population with its 5G network.

“We need to look at planning,” she said. “It’s not necessarily market structure that stops the UK having the great networks that I saw in Sweden – a lot of it is restricted by planning. The Swedes, the Norwegians, the Finnish all expected their highways, their trains, to have great connectivity wherever you were, even when you were up in the northern part of the country. A lot of what is not working in the UK is the planning legislation.”

She added that she wants to see the elected government focus on "regulatory and fiscal policy certainty.”

Since taking over at BT, Kirkby outlined plans during the company's most recent financial earnings to save a further £3 billion ($3.79bn) in costs by the end of 2029.

Last year, BT said it plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, affecting its operations both in the UK and globally. At the time, BT noted that its workforce was around 130,000.

The telco outlined its plans to utilize artificial intelligence to replace workers in customer service roles, with up to a fifth of these cuts coming from this part of the company.