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BTOpenreach Recruit 400 Engineers to Boost UK Superfast Broadband Rollout

Friday, August 24th, 2012 (7:56 am) - Score 864

BTOpenreach, which is responsible for managing access to and building BT’s national UK telecoms network, has announced plans to recruit 400 new engineers. The new staff will hopefully help to tackle delayed installations and boost the roll-out of its superfast broadband (e.g. FTTC) ISP services.

In a statement BTOpenreach confirmed that most of the new engineers were expected to be ex-armed forces personnel, which mirrors the 500 or so new workers that were drafted in last year to help deliver on its £2.5bn investment. The move means that BTO has added almost 1,700 new engineers since March 2011 and should now have a total of over 3,500.

Olivia Garfield, BTOpenreachs CEO, said:

I’m delighted to be able to recruit these extra engineers. Our engineers are doing a fantastic job keeping the copper network in shape, as well as deploying fibre at breakneck speed, and the new recruits will help us go even further, faster.”

As before the new personnel will become part of a mobile engineering workforce that “can be deployed anywhere in the UK“, which hopefully won’t have too much of an impact upon their family lives; but then ex-military folk tend to be use to that (i.e. probably BT’s thinking).

BT expects to have pushed its superfast broadband out to around 66% of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014, which could rise to 90% by 2016/17 if it wins the lion’s share of the governments Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) subsidy (still dependent upon final EC approval). So far the service is able to pass 11 million premises (about 40% of the country) and rising.

Meanwhile many new service installations are currently suffering from long delays, which is partly as a result of recent weather conditions and the slowdown caused by suspension of work during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Engineers now increasingly find their time being split between general maintenance tasks and the roll-out of new services. Hopefully the new personnel will help to ease this strain.

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9 Responses
  1. bob says:

    Probably to try to keep up with their FTTC ro;;out schedule which is currently falling badly behind schedule. Of the 196 exchanges they published as due to go live by end of September they have currently only achieved 54 yet they are almost two months into the quarter, At current rate of progress they may complete another 25 exchanges leaving a backlog of over a 110. It will also mean the Dec ones being puched out by the default 3 months to March 13 but with little chance that any of those will be enabled in that quarter, Q2 2013 is looking the earlist at present

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      It’s difficult to break the data down by individual areas (some are delayed, others come forward) but overall the actually gauge of ‘premises passed’ appears to remain on course for their 2014 target and still ahead of the original 2015 goal.

  2. cyclope says:

    From what i got told by a SFI engineer a lot of these new recruits are not up to the job,Some won’t do stuff as they are supposed to do, or they just don’t have a clue how to install FTTC He personally has had to go and rectify some of their handy work, But if that is true or is just sour grapes i cannot say

  3. Mark Jackson says:

    Experience counts for a lot as an engineer so it makes sense that they’d take time to improve, although too many mistakes would perhaps point to inadequate or rushed training that can easily become counter-productive. I’ve heard the same things as you.

  4. Phil says:

    Hopefully my exchange Cuckoo Oak (Telford & Wrekin) will be FTTC set date soon, not long to wait now. I think my exchange expect to go live by late 2013.

  5. Griff says:

    ” BTOpenreach confirmed that most of the new engineers were expected to be ex-armed forces personnel”

    I think you’ll find ALL of the new engineers will be ex-forces and the rest of the job seeking population won’t get a chance.

    While no-one would begrudge our armed force personal I think it’s highly unfair that they are, in a lot of cases, pushed into a job that they have no interest or enthusiasm in and little in the way of associated skills while qualified “civvies” don’t get past the application stage.

  6. bob says:

    It is not difficult to measure progress against the published plan and that clearly shows they are not meeting it. For the current list of exchanges planned to be enabled by the end of September they are onmly likely to achived 45% of the target

    1. FibreFred says:

      The plan was to finish by 2015 wasn’t it? Plenty of time 😉

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