Openreach, the unit of BT (NYSE: BT) that provides last mile access to BT Retail and other competitive providers, on Friday said it is going to hire 400 new engineers as it ramps up its fiber-based broadband network build out.
Following a previous effort to hire about 600 engineers during the first half of this year, BT will increase the total number of new engineers hired this year to over 1,000 with a focus on employing ex-armed forces personnel.
Openreach said it is complementing this effort "by retraining and reskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they become engineers dedicated to the provisioning of broadband services for customers across the UK."
Given the fact that the fiber network will support multiple competitive providers in various locations, Openreach said this latest hiring drive is focused on increasing its mobile workforce that can better respond where "the need is greatest."
To date, Openreach's open access network is available to any competitive carrier that needs last mile wholesale access, and it passes over 11 million premises. Ultimately, the company plans to expand that footprint to cover about two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2012. It will complement its own organic fiber rollout efforts with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds from the UK government.
The service provider continues to ramp up both its all-fiber Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) and Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) efforts. In addition to launching an 80 Mbps FTTC-based service, it said in June that it would begin targeting an additional 98 telephone exchange areas across the UK to deliver its fiber-based broadband services.
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