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Rory Stewart MP’s broadband campaign had a welcome boost following announcements from BT that two-thirds of UK premises are to have access to fibre broadband one year earlier than expected. The telecomms company has announced that 520 new engineers – most of them ex-armed forces – are to be recruited to work on the laying of fibre, as BT brings forward approximately £300 million of investment over the next few years to fund the accelerated roll-out. These funds form part of BT’s total investment of £2.5 billion in commercial fibre broadband – helping Rory to achieve his, and the Government’s, ambition of Britain seeing the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Rory Stewart said: “After months and months of behind-the-scenes work we should finally begin to see tangible results in our communities. At a time of great economic fragility, fibre in the ground represents also the potential for significant boosting of Britain’s economy and indeed to regional growth, bringing with it the enormous benefits of technology. This represents faster access to information, better opportunities for rural businesses, and the potential to boost our jobs sector. This is great news.”
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport said: “Superfast broadband is essential for achieving sustainable growth and it is vital that homes and businesses have access to it as soon as possible. BT’s accelerated fibre roll-out plan is great news for the UK. With access to superfast broadband UK businesses will have the infrastructure they need to grow and develop new products and services. This investment means new jobs today, but also allows us to build the digital infrastructure we need for the jobs of tomorrow. The Government is committed to ensuring the UK is leading the way in broadband provision and BT’s accelerated roll-out will help make that a reality.”