BT has announced that it will supply fibre broadband to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014 - a year ahead of its original target.
The telecoms firm is bringing forward about £300 million of investment over the next few years and recruiting an extra 520 engineers to enable the accelerated roll-out.
The move will support Government’s ambition to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the new roll-out schedule was “great news” for the country. “With access to superfast broadband, UK businesses will have the infrastructure they need to grow and develop new products and services,” he added. “This investment means new jobs today, but also allows us to build the digital infrastructure we need for the jobs of tomorrow.
“The Government is committed to ensuring the UK is leading the way in broadband provision and BT’s accelerated roll-out will help make that a reality.”
Ian Livingston, CEO of BT Group 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 acceleration reflects the success of the programme to date and is testament to the hard work and innovation of our people.”
Six million premises in the UK already have access to fibre broadband. That figure is set to increase to ten million in 2012 and then two thirds of premises by the end of 2014. BT’s network can be used by all internet service providers on an open wholesale basis.