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BT Recruits Another 250 Engineers to Help UK Superfast Broadband Rollout

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 (9:37 am) - Score 1,318

BTOpenreach has announced yet another plan to recruit up to 250 new telecoms engineers from “Armed Forces leavers” (i.e. those due to leave within the next year). The ex-Military personnel will be used to help support the UK operators £2.5bn national roll out of superfast broadband (FTTC etc.) services.

The development means that BT will have added around 1,900 new engineers since March 2011 and should soon be home to a total of close to 4,000. BT has previously recruited more than 800 engineers from ex-Forces personnel and the current campaign will push that total to more than 1,000.

Apparently each of the 250 or so personnel will be expected to spend three months with Openreach on a civilian attachment. At the end of that period, assuming all criteria are met, they will be given the option of continuing a new career with Openreach.

Liv Garfield, CEO of Openreach, said:

We have had great success in recruiting talented people with Armed Forces experience in the past so we are delighted to be able to offer these roles to people who are set to leave the Forces. Past recruits have brought great enthusiasm and professionalism with them and I have no doubt the new recruits will as well.

Fibre will help to spur economic growth and these recruits will be helping to power and drive that recovery.”

Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, added:

The rollout of superfast broadband across the UK is a key factor in generating sustainable economic growth. Today’s announcement is win-win. BT will benefit greatly from the vast amount of experience, knowledge and skills that these ex-service personnel will bring to the job and the recruits will leave the Armed Forces with a secure future career in the private sector.”

The new personnel are highly likely to become part of BT’s Mobile Engineering Workforce that “can be deployed anywhere in the UK” to fight terrorists install new superfast FTTC cabinets or perform related work. BT aims to expand its superfast broadband coverage to reach 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 £680m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund.

Meanwhile new service installations are still suffering from long delays, which is largely as a result of recent weather conditions (floods etc.) and the disruption that results when existing engineers switch priority to repairs. The new ex-Military engineers should help to ensure that BT’s “Fibre Broadband” roll out doesn’t suffer due to the current stretch on existing resources.

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76 Responses
  1. Avatar Bob says:

    BT are seriously struugling on repairs, New installations and FTTC and are massivelly behind schedule. Clearly they are not really in a postion to take on the BDUK work particularly as some of it is scheduled to start this year

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Then clearly they’ll be penalised. Unless there’s nothing to worry about and it is your usual scaremongery/BT hatred. We’ll see

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    How is it scaremongering. WE already know that BT cannot cope with their current workload and wek by week the backlog is growing.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      All “I” know is that they have a back log of work due to weather/other factors. The FTTC rollout end date has not slipped as we are some way off

      No reason to say the FTTC rollout will not meet its date or that BDUK will suffer. You’d like that but it doesn’t mean it will happen

    2. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      In fairness to BT they already moved the deployment of FTTC forward from 2015 to 2014 and so far, even considering the area specific delays and semi-related repair issues, they’re still rolling out the service at a rate that should keep them to target.

      It’s worth remembering that FTTC upgrades have targets but those dates shift both forwards and backwards in time. On top of that they allow some leeway in their plans for any delays, although I’m not sure how much time this equates to.

      The reality is they hit the 40% target more or less on the nose and BT’s next results are out soon, which should give an indication of whether or not their FTTC roll out has slowed or stayed the same.

    3. Avatar Deduction says:

      On target???? I dont think so Mark.

      Over 30 Million homes and businesses (premises) in the UK

      Based on 30 Million if they are at 40% they have enabled 12 Million homes. (They have not done 12 Million homes but lets let that slide and believe their figures for a split second)

      Rollout started beginning 2010 (well technically trials end of 2009) So come the end of this year that will be 3 YEARS into the rollout.

      That is 3 YEARS to do 12 MILLION premises.

      To do 90% (Its obvious they are indeed getting the lions share of BDUK funds by now, there are no other bidders) they will need to reach 27 Million premises (again based on 90% of 30 Million).

      That means by end of 2014 they need to enable a further 13 Million homes. (12M(current) + 13M(future) = The 27M target for 90% of premises)

      How does that put them on target?

      It took them 3 YEARS to do 12 MILLION but now without cherry picking of exchanges left we are expected to believe they will do a FURTHER 13 MILLION inside 2 YEARS?

      In fact they actually need to enable more than 27 Million premises seeing as BTs own figures are all exchanged based and currently for most with Exchange only lines in FTTC areas they are also excluded from getting FTTC.

      Not to mention the obvious already but not every cabinet at every exchange gets enabled anyway. 90% of premises ENABLED by end 2014…. Don’t make me laugh the cabinet to exchange numbers ratios is not even near 90% coverage at the moment. So they not only need to infill (so to speak) but enable THOUSANDS more exchanges to get anywhere near 90% coverage.

      Even THE NORMALLY TOUTED TWO THIRDS FIGURE for coverage is gonna be a push considering if they are at 40% (IE 12 Million) at the moment that means in those 3 years they have done a very rough average of 20% every 1.5 Years ( or in actual numbers 2 million every 6 months, 4 million a year, 6 million every 1.5 years).

      To reach the MYTHICAL TWO THIRDS that means doing 20 Million homes. On target? Delay factors built into targets????

      ERRR NO I DO NOT THINK SO. Another day another example of even if we believe BT maths it still makes no sense.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Its all total boredom and meaningless though Deduction/Bob, it doesn’t matter which way you cut it, whether you make up your own figures/interpret them differently etc etc.

      Bottom line is whether they achieve their own END goal or not. Even if they don’t (shrug) its their own goal so… I doubt they’d loose any sleep. You spend far to much time analysing the rollout. Even if they do complete on time no doubt you’ll be saying they’ve fudged the figures or dropped some cabs etc etc such is the hatred

      It puzzles me why you are so bothered.

    5. Avatar Deduction says:

      Only it is not there OWN end goal. They are promising figures in which to get PUBLIC funding. If they can not deliver they should be punished. The information they provide about figures is dubious from the start considering its only exchange figures they mention and at least 20% of exchanges they have previously announced to be enabled by a specific date have been delayed.

      They can not count, their figures are dubious at best and out right lies at worse, dunno about you but personally i hate dishonest scum bag organisations that lie.

    6. Avatar FibreFred says:

      The 2.5 billion/2014 rollout is their own rollout. Again boredom… been here before and its pointless. BDUK is something else, if they fail those targets they should pay credits etc, but BDUK is a different kettle of fish, different pot of money different timescales etc etc

    7. Avatar Deduction says:

      In that case their figures are even more ropey as they have already had funding from local authorities to fund part of their roll out. So the 66% figure is not even being managed with their own 2.5 Billion.

  3. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    Does any one know if one exchange has been fully converted to FTTC i.e. (every cabinet in said exchange area now FTTC). While my exchange is FTTC only about half of the new type cabinets are ready.

    There is no way to find out when the rest will by upgraded. Does this mean that BT’s claims are wrong by 50% ?

    If my last sentence is correct then BT are going to need a lot more engineers to meet their deadline.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Not all cabinets on an exchange will go FTTC

  4. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    @ FibreFred

    Not all cabinets on an exchange will go FTTC.

    That’s a pretty damning statement.

    Is that not going to put a big dent in BT’s 90% coverage figures, considering the
    rest of Wallasey is a tight area, no rural. Plus there must be a lot of areas with a similar layout in many towns and cities.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      No idea, I’m sure it changes from place to place. Just quoting the when and where site:-

      “in many exchange areas not every cabinet can be upgraded.”


  5. Avatar Bob says:

    How Mark can you say they on schedule when you do not know what the schedule is and where BT are against that schedule?

    All we know at present is the total number of exchanges active and the total number of exchanges BT have stated they will enable. Of the exchanges BT have said they will enable when measures against BT’s scheduled dates they are missing the target by 60%

    The other issue is they are even further behind on enabling cabinets. This is based on the leaked list of exchanges and Cabinets they had planned to enable. Almost none of the currently active exchanges have anywhere near all the cabinets enabled that they delared they would make active. Clearly the leaked list is somewhat out of date as well

    BT have also stated there will be a further reale of commercial exchange . How may who knows but less assume about 80.

    As no one knows what BT’s target is for 2014 no one can really say they are on target

    Estimates though can be made as to the total number of exhanges activity to date and the number of lines on them. Most exchanges have about 10% EO lines and on average only 60% of Cabinets have been enabled. It does not sound like they are anywhere near on target

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Lol but you can say they are behind schedule ?

      Despite you admitting you don’t know the schedule , comedy gold

  6. Avatar Darren says:

    Good news. Well done BT, on target and pushing ahead 🙂

    1. Avatar Deduction says:

      ^^^ I see you still can not count.

  7. Avatar Darren says:

    So good to be supporting the ex-Military personnel aswell 🙂

  8. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    So I think we can all take what BT claim with a HUGE PINCH OF SALT. On top of which some cabinets are NOT going to be replaced, I would like to bet that the one I feed off is one of them that does not get upgraded, it’s only a 100 pair cable into a tatty old cabinet that has not had the doors opened in decades and it’s paintwork looks to be about 50 years old.

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      If its only got a single 100 pair then it is a small cabinet in the scheme of things, most have considerably more lines, so unfortunately for you it is hardly surprising that it is not at the top of the list to be enabled.

  9. Avatar Bob says:

    I think what is really needed is honesty and clarity from BT. At present the rollout is shrouded in secrecy and whilst they claim all sorts of numbers the evidence tends to indicate that the figures are very exagerated. Even assuming that all the exchanges had every cabinet activated they still could not possibly meet the clainmed figures. THe sums simply do not add up.

    1. Avatar Deduction says:

      Indeed if they are to do 90% coverage then based on figures of 30 Million premises in the UK they need to enable 27 Million, leaving 3 Million with no product.

      Id hazard a guess once you factor in exchange only lines and lines too far from a cabinet to get the required 15Mb minimum from FTTC that figure is more than 3 Million lines. Add on those in some of the initial deployment areas back in 2010 and current deployments which still do not have their local cabinet enabled and the figure is sure to end up being more than 3 million.

      The sums not only do not add up they make no sense and never did.

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Why bother? Why bother releasing info you won’t believe anyway? I’d rather they concentrating on cracking on than to satisfy your needs. Who actually cares apart from yourselves?

      All you seem to do is spend your life having guessing at figures and sums, let it go 🙂

    3. Avatar Deduction says:

      I dunno why they do bother releasing info either, each time they do they show a failure in even basic maths. I think the only one with guess work to figures is BT, cos they certainly cant count.

    4. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Bob – please supply the numbers on the rollout to date that are wrong.

  10. Avatar Sledgehammer says:



    Thanks for the web site, it’s like every thing else BT put out NOT enough info.

    No specifics about which areas have upgraded cabinets and which have not. Or any dates when there will be any further upgraded cabinets will be installed.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Its true, there is no detail of a cab for me on that site but I know my cab is there and that it got fibre last week so it can’t be long until I can order now.

      I did read elsewhere a rumour Openreach would be releasing info down to the cab level soon but don’t know anymore than that.

    2. Avatar Bob says:

      At minimum BT should be listing all the Exchanges it is going to enable on a commercial basis. It should also show for the commercial exchanges the cabinet states ie Enabled. Planned, Not Planned and what Lines are EO Lines

      For BDUK Rollout it may be a little early to show details and it would probablu have to bre agreed between BDUK and th various partners as to who would take responsaibility for details on this. Given the way it is going at present it would seem to be sensible for BT Openreach to supply this information and in the few exceptions they just refer you to the relevent site

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      But why should they do this Bob, who needs to see this apart from yourself?

    4. Avatar Deduction says:

      Why shouldnt they do it, they want to make a big deal they are investing 2.5 Billion so lets see just how much they have done with their own money and how much the tax payer in some manner has paid for. 66% sure as hell isnt being done with their own money they have had local authority cash from various areas of the country already.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “Why shouldn’t they” is not a valid answer. Why go to all that effort, who is it aimed at, who needs to know this information?

  11. Avatar Deduction says:

    “Why should they do it” is not a valid question in the first place considering the tax payer has a right to know where their taxes go. You do not have to agree BT and them possibly diddling figures is likely to be looked into at some point anyway.

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      There is no reason why BT should not just announce areas as they become enabled and people can use the checker to find out about their specific phone number. Simpler for all.

    2. Avatar Gadget says:

      Where they have taken public money there must be accountability, where there is a legal obligation under Sarbanes Oxley there must be accountablity, but what they do with their own money in a competitive market is where I’d suggest it is up to them to disclose as much or as little as they choose

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So how many other projects can the general public scrutinise? Can you get in touch with companies direct to ask how your tax is spent?


      How taxpayer money is spent rests with the government and government projects, how BT spends its own money is its own business.

    4. Avatar Deduction says:

      Oh no i agree, how they spend their own money is their own business.

      If they dont want to detail that to us that is fine.

      At the same time though i dont need or want that information, just provide me with what BT have done with the tax payer cash. Then we can all see where the tax payer money is going and automatically know what they are actually funding thereself.

      Though obviously we know already BT are not even paying for 66% of the coverage or that all the coverage thus far is done at BTs expense, considering local authorities like Iwade already funded BT to put cabinets in.

      Considering the BDUK is also going to fund big cities, it makes me wonder where BT are actually spending their own mythical 2.5 Billion. I can only assume they aint, because they dont want to say where that money or the tax payer money is spent.

      If all BT figures and roll out in general is all legit then they have nothing to hide. Instead though the perception seems to be being best buddies with the government they have learned a trick or two about diddling expenses. Only cos they havent got anyone that can add up its as transparent as glass.

      If it looks crooked, acts crooked 9/10 times it is crooked.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Ok… but as its government money it is a question for the government I would have thought.

      Why would BT (or any private company) create reports for the general public detailing private/public funding and where it is spent, that conversation is between the government and the company, so if you want to know how you £ is spent its for the government to tell you, that applies for all/any taxpayer spend

    6. Avatar Deduction says:

      BT are supposed to report to the government where the taxes (no matter which funding of the public purse it is) are being spent. Obviously this is not as accurate as it should be, hence things like this…
      To BT it may be normal to not be able to do simple maths and make it up as you go along, to investors (in this case the government and tax payer) it is not.

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “BT are supposed to report to the government where the taxes (no matter which funding of the public purse it is) ”


      To the Government

      Do you or Bob work for the Government in the department that needs that information? If you do you should have that info.

    8. Avatar Deduction says:

      If the information is being reported accurately it is freely available to the public. Your rail example with the right names corrected by myself is a prime example.

      You can request who bidded for what train line, how much they bidded, who contracts were awarded to and any financial assistance given by the government. You might know about some of that over the recent Virgin West coast line uproar in the news.

      BT on the other hand and any real FACTUAL info from them on where money is being spent or ACTUAL real prices seems more than a touch vague with no real figures available from them or government. Fortunately even though most in the house of commons are thick as mud it seems the odd one now realises when it comes to BT and maths there seems to be big problems that need looking at.

    9. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Councils and government should be able to provide a list of telecomms projects that have funded. We know of Northern Ireland, Iwade and Cornwall, any others?

    10. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I’m sure you can request this information Deduction, so request it from the government that is all I’m saying. Openreach has no duty, commitment or requirement to provide these reports to you direct. The government is spending your money through taxation, ask them how its spent

    11. Avatar Deduction says:

      Indeed and it is then BT who is responsible to provide details to the local authorities on where the money was spent and the actual costs, something they seem to have issues doing. They can not even make up their mind how much a cabinet actually costs, using just your own 3 examples of Northern Ireland, Iwade and Cornwall the costs were different PER CABINET for each areas cabinets.

      Dont blame me blame BT who can not add up.

    12. Avatar FibreFred says:

      It surprises you that the costs per cabinet will vary?

    13. Avatar Deduction says:

      Indeed and when i say COST per cabinet i mean actual cost to just the cabinet, not the installation of the cabinet. The hardware should cost the same the manpower (IE labour) involved obviously wont. I can tell you for a fact the cost for just the cabinet (IE hardware) in Iwade was not the same as cabinets elsewhere.

      Care to explain why hardware costs vary? Did the price of green paint double over night?

    14. Avatar FibreFred says:

      No idea, have you got a link to the cost for a cab in iwade vs present day? Bearing in mind Iwade was 2yrs ago, lots change in the tech world in a year never mind two

    15. Avatar Deduction says:

      The average cost for a cabinet in Northern Ireland (funded by BT i believe) in july 2012 was quoted at just over £13,000. A cabinet in Iwade which remember was deemed an “commercially unviable location” back in Jan 2012 had a final invoice total to the local authority of £12,677. In other words prices for rural cabinets appear to be rising, even though costs are declining.

      Then again dont believe me read this who looked into the recent report in more detail….

      The QUOTE OF…
      “It is hard to establish true costs because BT does not disclose them, and requires interested parties to sign non-disclosure agreements, the HoL committee heard.”


    16. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Well… again that is something the government need to take up with BT I guess.

    17. Avatar Deduction says:

      Good so we agree their so called MATHS needs looking at.

    18. Avatar FibreFred says:


      If there’s a possibility something is amiss (with the spending on any public funds) it needs looking at, which I believe they are looking at?

      I don’t know whether the figures are right or wrong I couldn’t make that judgement based on the information in the public domain, which is why it is a matter for the government

    19. Avatar Deduction says:

      So ill repeat good we agree their figures need looking at.

    20. Avatar FibreFred says:

      No 🙂

    21. Avatar Deduction says:

      So why are the government possibly going to be looking at the figures again?

      Oh thats right to check they aint bent, cos they look bent. Not to check they are honest as they seem honest


    22. Avatar FibreFred says:

      No I’m saying if the government think there is cause to question it question away, me personally? I’ve no idea like I said there’s not enough info apart from one source who got sacked

    23. Avatar Deduction says:

      Why would they question the figures if they were so clearly above board?

      Speaking of which i wonder what magical pile of cash is paying for these new staff also? Ah that will more than likely be more BT own funds in addition to the 2.5 billion and any extra for the last round off new staff they took on no doubt. Ah yes its all so clear, how silly to look into BT maths…….

      Is stop digging ya hole now if i were you
      “cause to question it” even though its all honest and a lack of CLEAR figures is available.

    24. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Not sure how many times I can say it (hopefully you don’t work in law 😉 ) without all of the available facts and evidence I could not say either way.

      The government have access to info I don’t. If they feel something isn’t right they should question it. I’m not in that position so I have no view either way.

    25. Avatar Deduction says:

      LMAO you have “no view either way” LMAO which is why you always defend BT figures on here obviously LOL

  12. Avatar Bob says:

    With Private companies this saort information is usualy readilly available and published

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Name one? Tell me where the national grid shows where they are deploying new cabling etc and what their schedule is. Or National Rail, can you show me their plans for the next 5yrs and how they are doing against that schedule and give me detail on particular stretches of line?

      Can you also tell me which parts of the National Rail network our taxes are funding as opposed to those self funded via ticket prices?

    2. Avatar Deduction says:

      quote”Or National Rail, can you show me their plans for the next 5yrs and how they are doing against that schedule and give me detail on particular stretches of line?”

      quote”Can you also tell me which parts of the National Rail network our taxes are funding as opposed to those self funded via ticket prices?”

      You seem to be confused the department for transport and the Secretary of State for Transport. Dictate rail franchises.

      Let me help you out a little…….

      NATIONAL RAIL = A title used to promote passenger railway services, and providing some harmonisation for passengers (e.g. tickets to all London Terminals).


      NETWORK RAIL = The organisation owning and managing most of the fixed assets (tracks, signals etc.) of the railway network.

      Is NETWORK RAIL what you meant?

      Good to know its not only BT your knowledge is lacking in but other once public owned industry.

      Glad i could assist you again.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Yep Network Rail 🙂

      I’m not sure why you are upset. A one liner “did you mean Network Rail” would have sufficed

      Carry on

    4. Avatar Deduction says:

      Im not sure why you asked all your questions about rail when you did not know what organisation you are on about.

      Id answer your queries but obviously you are not that concerned about the expenditures as you obviously do not even know which departments within government are responsible for transport or what the organisations in the Railways are actually called or what they do.

      I can only therefore conclude it would be a waste of time trying to educate you on something you obviously know nothing about to begin with or have little want or need of actually factual information.

      So back to BT, shall we, as ive ridiculed you enough on the departments within the rail sector.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      lol, so you cannot answer it so you move on.

      Network Rail is an infrastructure business as is Openreach. Network Rail receives public funding, Openreach (at the moment) receives some for its fibre rollout.

      The comparison is there the comparison is sound.

      Answer the questions, you can’t… and its making yours and Bob’s cries for this information even more stupid which is why you are hooked up on what was a common naming mistake by myself. The fact that you knew exactly what I meant says it all.

      So… can you give me the private vs public spend for Network Rail right down to specific locations?

      After all Bob says private companies make this info readily available

    6. Avatar Deduction says:

      I pointed it out for you a whole 3 minutes before you posted that….

      The only reasons i knew what organisation you was actually speaking about is testament to myself in decrypting the constantly wrong information you provide on here.

      What public Vs private spend within Network Rail would you like (track, signalling, general maintenance something else?) and for what time period?

      Please do not say you want a total for all of it, ive been very specific in what costings i want from BT (IE those involving tax payer cash for its FTTC rollout 2010-present). The least you can do is the same, not that you even know ALL OF railway infrastructure they are responsible for. Probably do not even know when it was fully privatised.

    7. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Then go to the part of government that has provided the cash to BT.

    8. Avatar Deduction says:

      quote”Then go to the part of government that has provided the cash to BT.”

      Would you happen to know who that is? Or are you just discussing things you do not know about?

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      To echo “TheFacts”, speak to the government, that is what I keep saying. They are the people you need to ask for this info.

    10. Avatar TheFacts says:

      D – happy now that I have provided the contact details below that you asked for?

  13. Avatar TheFacts says:

    Start here:

    BT has pledged to invest £30m in the government’s Next Generation Broadband project in Northern Ireland, launched today by enterprise minister Arlene Foster.

    The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are also stumping up £18m with EU backing.

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:


      Telecommunications Policy Unit Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment Netherleigh Massey Avenue Belfast BT4 2JP
      Telephone:Tele: 028 9052 9308
      Email: telecomspolicy@detini.gov.uk

    2. Avatar Deduction says:

      Quiet what that address or info has to do with costs of Northern Ireland Vs Iwade is anyones guess, you appear to be missing half the contact info.

    3. Avatar TheFacts says:

      You asked for contact details to find out costs. Iwade is Kent County Council.

    4. Avatar Deduction says:

      I think you will find it was the Iwade Broadband committee that managed the scheme and tender process and are the ones with financial data for what things cost. KCC just provided the money Iwade parish council and the finance committee made the decision to go with BT and are the ones that will pay the invoice that arrived in Jan this year. Do carry on though, im amazed you were able to figure out Iwade is in Kent, i guess you can work google atleast.

    5. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Good, you now have all the details to find out and compare costs.

    6. Avatar Deduction says:

      I already did much earlier in this thread LOL

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