BT accelerates fibre broadband rollout

BT is recruiting another 520 engineers to accelerate its rollout of superfast fibre broadband.

BT accelerates fibre broadband rollout

The company’s new plans will see two thirds of Britain given access to fibre broadband by the end of 2014 – a year earlier than BT’s previous target.

BT is bringing forward £300 million of investment to hire the new engineers, but insists it isn’t increasing its overall budget of £2.5 billion for the fibre rollout.

We are investing when others are merely talking about it

However, BT says it’s willing to stick another £1bn into the fibre kitty if it wins all of the Government money available from Broadband Delivery UK. That would get the UK to around 90% fibre broadband coverage, according to BT.

“Our rollout of fibre broadband is one of the fastest in the world and so it is great to be ahead of what was an already challenging schedule,” said BT’s chief executive officer, Ian Livingston.

“The acceleration reflects the success of the programme to date and is testament to the hard work and innovation of our people. We are investing when others are merely talking about it.”

A BT spokesman told PC Pro that the new engineer posts are full-time positions, and not fixed-term contracts. The majority of the new engineers will be recruited from the armed forces.

BT earlier this year pledged to increase the speed of its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) lines to 300Mbits/sec by next spring, although the vast majority of fibre connections will be slower fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) lines.

The accelerated rollout and improved speeds will give the Government a better chance of achieving its aim of delivering the “best broadband network in Europe” by 2015.

The Government still has its work cut out, however: a study published by Akamai last week claimed Britain had slid into 15th place in the European broadband speed league.

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