CEO Jansen says the FTTP boost will aide the UK’s economic recovery
BT has pledged to create up to 7,000 new jobs as the telco looks to up the pace of its full-fibre broadband rollout.
The telecoms firm has increased its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) target from 20 million to 25 million connections by December 2026.
It comes as BT also announced its full year results, ending March 31 2021, with revenue dipping seven per cent to £21.3 bn.
The announcement follows Ofcom’s recent decision not to impose caps on the wholesale prices fibre operators can charge for access, for at least ten years.
BT’s commitment to hit 25 million premises by 2026 will support up to 7,000 new jobs, according to its chief executive Philip Jansen.
“Today we are increasing our FTTP target from 20 million to 25 million homes and businesses to deliver further value to our shareholders and support the Government’s full fibre ambitions.
“This has three massive benefits: it allows us to go faster, beefing up our capacity to build fibre to households and businesses; it allows us to go further, getting fibre to more people including in rural communities, and; it will help fuel UK economic recovery, with better connectivity and up to 7,000 new jobs.”
Currently only 21 per cent of the UK has access to full-fibre broadband, as per Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report.
CCS Insight director, consumer and connectivity Kester Mann has welcomed BT’s proposals and says it help boost the UK’s Covid-19 recovery.
“The fibre announcement is welcome news for the UK’s recovery from Covid-19. The pandemic has underlined the value of high-quality connectivity to support households and businesses.
“It will be an important factor in restoring the economy and bridging the digital divide so starkly highlighted over the past year.”
Despite a tough year financially on BT across its consumer, enterprise and global divisions due to the pandemic, its Openreach business grew in revenue by three per cent to £5.2bn.
Openreach increased its FTTP connections in the last year by 73 per cent, to 905k in the past 12 months.
And during the financial year, the company doubled its 5G footprint to 160 locations nationwide, while NPS also grew by 7.8 points YoY.