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BT to complete fibre broadband network rollout a year earlier

01 ноября 2011

BT Group PLC Monday said it will complete the rollout of its fiber broadband network to two-thirds of U.K. premises by the end of 2014, one year earlier than originally planned, and that it will recruit 520 engineers to assist with the project.

The U.K. telecommunications firm said it will bring forward approximately GBP300 million of its GBP2.5 billion investment to fund the accelerated rollout, which will "help the government achieve its ambition of having the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015."

"The widespread availability of super-fast broadband is expected to help stimulate the U.K. economy, drive regional growth and please many communities who are keen to experience the benefits of the technology," BT said in a statement.

Chief Executive Ian Livingston said the rollout is "one of the fastest in the world and so it is great to be ahead of what was an already challenging schedule."

Six million premises already have access to the BT's fiber broadband network. Next year that figure will rise to 10 million, and to two thirds by the end of 2014. The network will also be available to all companies on a wholesale basis.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, welcomed the news."With access to super-fast broadband, U.K. businesses will have the infrastructure they need to grow and develop new products and services. This investment means new jobs today, but also allows us to build the digital infrastructure we need for the jobs of tomorrow," he said.

BT also said it is keen to extend the reach of its fiber broadband network even further by working with the public sector.

The company has welcomed the government's pledge to spend GBP530 million over the next four years to bring fiber broadband to additional areas, and it intends to bid for the funds being administered by Broadband Delivery UK, a body responsible for delivering the government's policies on broadband.

BT said it has a "strong track record" of delivering fiber broadband in partnership with the public sector through its programs in Cornwall, a rural county in southwest England, and Northern Ireland, and that it is "prepared to commit substantial additional funds to help achieve this."

In April, Fujitsu Ltd. said it will build a fiber-optic network to deliver super-fast broadband to 5 million premises in rural parts of the U.K.--an alternative to BT's offering.

The Japanese technology group plans to invest GBP1.5 billion to GBP2 billion in the project over the next three to five years, of which about GBP500 million is expected to come from the U.K. government.

Источник: Total Telecom

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