BT enlists ex-armed forces staff for fibre broadband rollout
Openreach, the telecoms giant's local network business, is set to employ the ex-servicemen and women later this month as part of its drive to bring fibre optic broadband to two-thirds of UK properties by 2015.
Chief executive of Openreach Olivia Garfield said it is "fantastic" that BT has been able to take on so many former army, navy and air force employees, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
She described the workers as "highly skilled, motivated and disciplined" and pointed out they have substantial skill in carrying out complex engineering work in potentially tricky environments.
"Our fast-track recruitment programme should see the majority of them join us by the end of May and, given their experience, we will be able to train them up quickly and get them straight out where we need them," Ms Garfield explained.
Lieutenant Commander Mark Walker of the Ministry of Defence expressed his delight that BT has chosen to call on the talents of so many ex-services staff.
"We strongly welcome this initiative and its promise of rewarding employment and career opportunities for many former armed forces personnel," he said.
The news comes after Openreach revealed a further 156 communities across the UK are set to receive access to its super-fast broadband infrastructure over the coming months.
According to the organisation, the exchanges that will be upgraded between now and the end of 2012 serve more than 1.5 million homes and businesses.
Around a third of the exchanges are scheduled for improvement by the end of summer 2011, illustrating the need for BT to boost its engineering team quickly.
BT is deploying a combination of fibre to the cabinet - offering speeds of up to 40Mbps - and the faster fibre to the home, which boasts maximum download capabilities of 100Mbps.