BT Openreach are to recruit an extra 400 engineers to help with the deployment of their fibre optic network.
This latest drive for new engineers will see the total new engineers BT Openreach have employed in 2012 to reach 1000 as they recruited 600 earlier in the year. It is mainly ex-armed forces personnel that BT will be looking to employ, not only is it a great way to help ex-armed forces personnel find new jobs but also they have a great set of expertise to be able to tackle changes quickly, they will also be required to be able to work around and not be confined to one geographic location and instead be ready and willing to work wherever BT Openreacvh require so that they can continue their fast roll out of fibre optic broadband.
BT Openerache’s fibre network is currently available to over 11 million premises in the UK, this figure is set to rise to cover two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014 and this is the reason BT need the extra engineers to help keep on track with their fast roll out of the network. Openreach will also be rolling out the fibre to other parts of the country where they receive funds form Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) which is money from the government to help fund broadband to areas where it is not financially viable for BT to roll out to themselves.
Olivia Garfield, the BT Openreach CEO, said:
“Digital technology is fundamental to the way we live our lives and the way we do business, which is why we want the UK to have the best and the fastest superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.
These are challenging economic times so 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.
“Fibre broadband will be vital to the future health of the UK. It has the potential to transform the economy and help create thousands of jobs. Our engineers are playing a critical role by deploying infrastructure that will underpin the economy for many years to come.”
Between March 2011 and the end of December 2012 BT say they will have recruited 1,650 new engineers to the company.
UK to have the best and fastest broadband in Europe by 2015 are the governments aims according to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a speech he made yesterday at a Google office in London.
His ambitions to drive for having the fastest broadband come because of the desire to “get it right” and not make mistakes such as he thinks were made with high speed rail, he cited that by the time the UK high speed rail link between London & Birmingham opens in 2026 it will be 45 years after the French opened theirs and a huge 62 years after the Japanese opened their high speed rail network. He also points at things where we have got it right in the past and how we are still benefiting from it now and that is with London’s sewers and how in the 1860′s they were designed 6 times bigger than they needed to be so that they would be future proofed.
Much talk and slight disappointment has been made about how FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) has been the chosen solution for most areas where superfast broadband has and is being installed, Mr Hunt went on to say that he sees this as a “stepping stone” of full FTTH (Fibre To The Home) and pointed to the fact that by 2016 FTTH will be available to around two thirds of the UK on demand if a customer wants it.
The Olympic games showed what a digital age we are now in and the need for good internet connections. As a few examples 700 gigabytes per second were delivered form the BBC website when Bradley Wiggins won his Gold. On the peak day there was 2.8 petabytes of data delivered (equivalent to 700,000 DVD’s). 1 million people watxched Andy Murray win his gold online and over 9 million people followed BBC Olympic coverage on their mobiles.
To finish his speech Mr Hunt said:
“Two years ago I promised the best superfast broadband in Europe. After two years, we have the lowest cost, most comprehensive and fastest broadband of any major European country. More importantly when it comes to next generation broadband we also have the most ambitious investment plans too.”
Since May 2012 the average broadband speed in the UK (test broadband speed) has increased by 50% and in the last year alone the average speed has increased from 7.6Mb to 9Mb to put it now above France and Germany and making the UK the fastest broadband of any large European Country.
The average UK broadband speed has risen by 20% to 9Mb in the last 6 months as superfast broadband in the UK starts to gain in popularity.
According to Ofcom (report here) who now run a broadband speed test study every 6 months in the UK, between November 2011 and May 2012 the average UK broadband speed rose from 7.6Mb to 9Mb. The speed increase has been helped by the inclusion of the Virgin Media “up to” 60Mb superfast broadband package and also BT Infinity 2 “up to” 76Mb broadband service which now sees more and more customers slowly switching to the superfast broadband speeds being made available.
Ofcom started their broadband speed surveys back in November 2008 with the average UK fixed line broadband speed then standing at 3.6Mb, in just 3 and a half years we have seen those average broadband speed increase by 2 ½ times to todays current speeds.
The move to superfast broadband deals and faster connections is partly down to customers making the switch themselves but also we have seen the likes of Virgin Media upgrade customers to faster broadband speeds automatically at no extra cost. The number of UK households with superfast broadband connections (these are deals which are advertised as having an “up to” speed of 30Mb or above) has increased to 8% by May 2012, this is up from just 5% 6 months previously and from just 2% 1 year ago!
The report compared the broadband speeds of 12 broadband providers to find hwo their packages delivered at different time periods during the day, overall as expected with the fastest broadband speeds was Virgin Media’s “up to” 100Mb service which delivered on average between 85.7Mb and 90.9Mb over 24 hours, the maximum speed it achieved was actually 103.2Mb!
Below is the Ofcom table for the broadband speeds achieved by the 12 broadband providers tested.
Hong Kong are the new leaders in terms of broadband speeds globally after they topped the latest “State Of The Internet” report charts and knocking South Korea down a place for the highest average peak connection speed for both fixed line and mobile broadband.
In the latest “State of the Internet” report done by Akamai shows that in the last quarter Hong Kong have hit the top spot with an average peak connection speed of 49.2Mb relegating South Korea to second spot with 47.8Mb. To round off the top 3 that was again dominated by Asian countries we saw Japan take the third spot with an average peak broadband speed of 39.5Mb.
To take the top spot Hong Kong recorded a 7.1% rise in their highest average speed on the previous quarter and a huge 25% year on year rise, however we are likely to see Hong Kong lose the top spot going forward as the year on year growth recorded for households taking out high speed broadband here was just 9.7% while in Japan this was 37% and South Korea at 53%, if these figures continue then there will be more users moving to high speed broadband form the likes of Japan and South Korea which will help bring their average peak broadband connection speeds up (check speed with our broadband speed test).
In terms of average broadband speed across the country it was still South Korea who were at the top though with 15.7Mb followed by Japan with 10.9Mb and then Hong Kong at 9.3Mb. The UK was lagging behind with a global position of 21st position with an average broadband speed of just 5.6Mb.
Despite all the investment in fibre broadband in the UK we are still going to be way behind the likes of the leading Asian countries for a good long while!
The UK has now hit over 2 million Superfast broadband subscribers as we start to see Superfast broadband to gain pace with users.
The broadband analyst firm Point-Topic.com compiled the latest results to be correct as of the start of July 2012 and the results hopefully start to give a more positive outlook for the way UK broadband is progressing. Superfast broadband is a broadband connection that offers a download speed of over 25Mb.
Although standard copper broadband connections still heavily out numbers that of the superfast fibre broadband connections which now represent 10% of UK fixed line connections we are starting to see that the fibre connections are increasing at a higher number than the standard copper DSL connections.
Overall there were just 175,000 increase in fixed broadband lines for the quarter ending June 2012, however there was an increase of over 600,000 superfast broadband subscribers over the previous quarter, this clearly shows that a significant number of standard broadband subscribers are either actively moving over to fibre broadband products or the service provider is upgrading them.
Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic, said:
“Virgin Media is responsible for the majority of these superfast gains. They have been upgrading and upselling their customer base very successfully over the last 18 months. BT is now joining the party with 150 thousand new superfast customers in the quarter, their best yet, and their network is now being used by other players like Sky and TalkTalk to add to the number of high-bandwidth customers in the UK.”
The UK and Europe have digital plans that they wish to see the whole of Europe to have superfast broadband available to 100% of consumers by 2020 and the UK government are after having the best broadband in Europe by 2015.
Today will see BT launch a new TV Campaign all based around BT’s sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
BT are immensely proud of their domestic sponsorship of the London Olympic games 2012 and see themselves as at the heart of helping to broadcast the games around the world. With over 20,000 media in the Olympic Park filming, taking photographs and filing reports and having to send them around the world, to all the athletes who are taking part and tweeting it is helping to make the London Olympics very connected with BT’s fibre optic network at the heart of that in the Olympic arenas and parks.
BT are even showing big TV’s around London as part of BT London Live where spectators can watch Olympic events on big screens if they can’t get into the event themselves.
Suzi Williams from BT, said:
“As the official communications services partner our new advert is a great way to showcase how BT is connecting people to some truly memorable moments. We are immensely proud to be bringing so many people together to share in the magic of London 2012.”
View the new BT ad below.