British fixed line incumbent BT has revealed that it now expects to complete the rollout of its fibre-optic broadband infrastructure to around two-thirds of the UK’s premises by the end of 2014, a year earlier than as per its original schedule. According to the Wall Street Journal, the telco has said that it will bring forward around GBP300 million (USD483 million) of the GBP2.5 billion total investment set aside for the project, part of which will be put towards the recruitment of some 520 engineers to help out with the project. Commenting on the development, BT was reported to have said: ‘The widespread availability of super-fast broadband is expected to help stimulate the UK economy, drive regional growth and please many communities who are keen to experience the benefits of the technology,’ while CEO Ian Livingston claimed that the fibre rollout was ‘one of the fastest in the world’, adding: ‘It is great to be ahead of what was an already challenging schedule.’
Currently some six million premises have access to BT fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network, and that number is expected to increase to ten million by the end of 2012. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month BT unveiled a list of 114 exchanges at which it will make its FTTC broadband service available by ‘autumn 2012’ via its network arm, Openreach. According to the telco, more than one million premises will gain access to its superfast internet product as part of the expansion, while it also noted at that date that it expects to reveal further locations for future deployment in the coming months.