Recruitment drive for 3,000 BT engineers to fill broadband ‘not-spots’

BT Openreach push to provide ultrafast service to 1 million more homes and businesses than planned

In a bid to rollout fibre broadband and eliminate “not-spots” in cities and suburban areas, BT is creating 3,000 engineering jobs this year.

Kicking off a drive to upgrade the UK to next-generation gigabit speed internet, BT said it will recruit and train the engineers in order to reach its new target of 3m homes and businesses by 2020. It had previously committed to reaching 2m homes by that date.

This follows numerous job losses at the group, which last year announced it was cutting 4,000 roles worldwide. Half of these were UK based with managerial and back-office posts bearing the brunt. The new jobs in this recruitment drive are at its Openreach subsidiary.

BT has said Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester will make up the first phase of the roll-outs, which will connect up to 40 British towns and cities over the next decade.

Chief executive of Openreach, the division that controls most of the UK’s broadband network Clive Shelley, said: “Openreach is getting on with the job of building an ultrafast Britain. We are accelerating our plans; where possible, we will be ‘fibre first’.”

Fibre broadband will be 50 times faster than standard UK broadband and three times quicker than the fastest option currently available from BT. Gigabit speeds will allow consumers to download 4K-quality movies in minutes rather than hours.

With 5G mobile networks on the uprise as well as the Internet of Things, automated homes, driverless cars and smart manufacturing, these giant speeds will become more and more necessary.

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