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BT accelerates Broadband roll-out

PUBLISHED: 15:59 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:41 01 August 2010

TELECOMS giant BT yesterday unveiled plans to roll-out super-fast broadband to around two-thirds of UK homes by 2015, as it announced an annual profit of £1billion.

TELECOMS giant BT yesterday unveiled plans to roll-out super-fast broadband to around two-thirds of UK homes by 2015, as it announced an annual profit of £1billion.

About four million homes are already expected to have access to fibre broadband by the end of this year, but BT said that further investment of around £2.5b would dramatically increase the figure over the next five years.

The company has previously pledged to invest £1.5b in making super-fast download speeds available to 40pc of UK homes by 2012.

BT chief executive Ian Livingston revealed the increased investment as he announced group profits of £1bn for the year to March 31 and set out objectives for the company over the next three years.

He said the expansion of faster broadband would support BT's plans to grow its television offering, which is currently based around its on-demand digital TV service BT Vision.

Recent moves by regulator Ofcom to cut the wholesale cost of pay television programming means that BT expects to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 in time for the start of the new football season in August.

Mr Livingston its accelerated growth plans had been made possible by efficiency improvements. The £2.5bn investment in fibre was one of the largest in the world not reliant on public sector funding and involving a network is open to all service providers on an equal basis, he added.

BT said it reduced operating costs by 7pc in the last year after cutting 20,000 jobs in the period to March 31.

The company is still one of the UK's biggest employers with a workforce of around 128,000, and is the biggest private sector employer in Suffolk with around 4,000 people at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich.

The cost savings helped BT recover from the loss of £244million in 2008-09, when the company was blighted by problems at its division providing IT networking services for clients such as the NHS and Nationwide.

The global services arm, now under new leadership, posted a loss of £358m for the last year, compared with £2.1bn in the previous 12 months.

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