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BT fibre rollout gets helping hand from 250 more squaddies

BT is recruiting up to 250 armed forces leavers to help with its fibre broadband rollout in the UK, having previously enlisted some 800 engineers from the military.
Written by Jon Yeomans, Contributor

Up to 250 more ex-squaddies will be helping to lay fibre cables across the UK, after BT announced another recruitment drive from the armed forces.

The telco said on Tuesday it was looking to add more armed forces leavers to its ranks, having previously recruited around 800 ex-forces engineers.

BT squaddies
BT is recruiting more engineers from the military to aid its fibre rollout. Image: BT

"Fibre will help to spur economic growth and these recruits will be helping to power and drive that recovery," said Liv Garfield, CEO of Openreach, the company that oversees BT's fibre deployment, in a statement.

The new recruits will be given a three-month attachment with the company, after which they will have the opportunity of joining Openreach, the company that oversees BT's fibre deployment. The MoD has written to serving personnel due to leave the forces within the next year to let them know about the scheme.

Engineer Dave Smith, who joined Openreach in April 2011, said in a BT statement: "Since joining Openreach I've found that it's very similar to the military. We work as a team, there is a great work ethos amongst all the engineers and the daily banter is great."

BT is spending £2.5bn on its plan to roll out fibre broadband to the two-thirds of the UK by 2014. It has now announced the bulk of the telephone exchanges that will get a fibre upgrade under the programme.

However, it is still bidding on contracts to roll out fibre under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) plan, a government-funded scheme that aims to bring super-fast broadband to 90 percent of the country by 2015 and provide a minimum of 2Mbps for everyone, even in remote areas.

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