BT accelerates its broadband roll-out

BT is to accelerate its roll-out of fibre-optic broadband, bringing superfast internet speeds to two-thirds of the country a year earlier than planned, and hiring hundreds of engineers for the drive.

The telecom giant is investing £2.5bn in expanding its fibre network and will today reveal the expansion to 66 per cent of British homes will now be completed by 2014 rather than 2015 as originally planned.

Ian Livingston, the chief executive of BT, said: "Our roll-out 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." The group is to take on 520 new engineers to oversee the drive, most of whom will be former armed forces personnel. So far 6 million homes have access to the technology, and the figure will rise to 10 million next year.

Two-thirds of BT's infrastructure will be fibre to the cabinet, which provides speeds of up to 40Mb, while the remaining fibre to the home offers speeds of more than 100Mb.