Belfast Telegraph

BT accelerates rollout of super-fast broadband

By Philip Whiterow

Telecoms giant BT said today it will be able to provide super-fast broadband for two-thirds of the UK a year earlier than it previously predicted.

BT will bring forward £300m of planned investment and take on an additional 520 new engineers, which it hopes to recruit largely from ex-armed forces personnel, to achieve its target in 2014 instead of 2015.

The accelerated rollout forms part of BT's £2.5bn programme to provide quicker broadband services across the UK.

Six million UK premises already have access to the new super-fast technology, a figure that will rise to 10 million in 2012.

The new fibre-optic cables support download speeds of up to 40 megabytes per second, which is easily fast enough to allow users to watch high-definition television over the internet. They are substantially quicker than receiving the internet through BT's traditional copper phone lines.

The firm said its programme is the largest single commercial investment ever undertaken in the UK and one of the biggest civil engineering projects currently in operation.

The company is also to apply for up to £530m worth of grants from the Government to take the new technology into rural areas.

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