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March 15, 2018

Openreach expands full-fibre footprint with 3,500 new engineers

Openreach hires new engineers in a bid to deliver full-fibre broadband across the UK quicker.

By April Slattery

Openreach has said it will be hiring over 3,000 new engineers in an effort to support its full-fibre proposals for Britain.

The company has said its largest recruitment push comes from its plan to connect a total of 3million premises to full-fibre by 2020, increasing by 50% on its previous aim.

In total there will be 3,500 new engineers hired across the country over the next year to expand, upgrade and install new services over the providers’ network. The UK’s Capital will see 580 new engineers hired, to push forward the UK’s full-fibre broadband initiative, which was outlined in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget.

“These trainee engineers will be playing a vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK. Every day, Openreach engineers are working in all weathers across the length and breadth of Britain, connecting homes and businesses and making sure people can access the high quality broadband services they need,” Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said. “We are already investing in up skilling our engineering team and today’s announcement of new jobs underlines our commitment to make our ‘Fibre First’ programme a reality, future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”

Openreach’s announcement coincides with Hammond’s latest announcement, investing £67m to provide full-fibre broadband vouches to SMEs across the UK. Hammond said: “It’s great news that Openreach is creating 3,500 new permanent jobs rolling out full fibre broadband. This digital infrastructure will be welcomed by families and businesses across the country, and these new highly skilled jobs will be a boost to our talented workforce as we build an economy fit for the future,” said Hammond.

The initiative aims to connect more people to the full-fibre network.

In total, 12 new training centres will be opened across the country including Bradford, Bolton, Cardiff, Hertford and Peterborough. The will aim to enable the new and existing engineers to develop and enhance their telecoms skills in an innovative environment.

Trainee engineers that complete the course will be rewarded with a BTEC Level 2 qualification in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals.

Openreach’s announcement coincides with Hammond’s latest announcement, investing £67m to provide full-fibre broadband vouches to SMEs across the UK. Hammond said: “It’s great news that Openreach is creating 3,500 new permanent jobs rolling out full fibre broadband. This digital infrastructure will be welcomed by families and businesses across the country, and these new highly skilled jobs will be a boost to our talented workforce as we build an economy fit for the future,” said Hammond.

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The programme is expected to incur cost of up to £6bn, which BT hopes to make by increasing service providers’ line rental chargers. Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme aims to deliver expanded ‘full fibre’ FTTP networks in up to 40 towns, cities and boroughs, aiming to reach 10million premises across the UK by 2025.

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