Planned Openreach fibre roll-out to finish in 2014
While we have known about the spending of £2.5 billion by Openreach (part of BT Group) to bring super-fast broadband to two thirds of the UK for some time and its original end date of 2015, we are now being told that the project is likely to finish earlier in 2014.
Hopefully any accelerated roll-out will not worsen the mixture of FTTC to FTTP products, i.e. the easier to install FTTC solution be used to meet the new deadline, the Independent tells us the mixture will be two thirds FTTC and one third full Fibre to the Home (FTTH). The further 520 jobs for engineers need to be taken in light of previous reduction in staff numbers (15,000 in 2009), so while any new jobs are welcome, in the longer term it would appear to be a rebalancing of skills within Openreach.
Hopefully the extra staff taken on to help in the building of this network will see their jobs extend well beyond this current roll-out, and with one third of the country seeing super-fast broadband arrive via a mixture of centrally funded, private investment and council money, there is likely to be work continuing for a few more years for these engineers at both Openreach and firms like Fujitsu and Cable and Wireless.