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BT pledges to build high speed internet “like fury” with strikes now in the past

BT chief executive Philip Jansen (BT/PA) (PA Media)
BT chief executive Philip Jansen (BT/PA) (PA Media)

BT today claimed it is winning the broadband race, building “like fury” to give Britain an ultra high-speed internet network that should rival any in the world. It is doing 62k premises a week and is 38% into its 25 million target for the fastest internet connections.

The company was hit by eight days of strikes recently, but has reached a settlement with unions that ought to hold firm for the near future at least.

Various so-called “altnets” – small telecom players – are competing with BT in some areas, though it is far from clear they will have enough scale to truly make a difference.

CEO Philip Jansen welcomes the competition, especially in hard to reach parts of the country. But said: “We are really ramping it up now, despite the economic challenges. We are going to put our foot down.”

In the nine months to December 31, revenue slipped 1% to £13.6 billion. Profits fell 15% to £1.3 billion.

The City is likely to be pleased with progress. BT shares open today at 124p.

Jansen is in the fifth year of a five year contract but insists he isn’t planning to move on immediately

He said: “Despite a challenging economic backdrop…we’re transforming BT Group for the benefit of our customers. We continue to accelerate our investments in the UK’s leading next generation networks; we’re combining our Enterprise and Global operations to create BT Business, a single, strengthened B2B unit; and we’re going further on cutting costs to deliver £3 billion in annualised savings by the end of FY25.

"On full fibre, we’re building - and now connecting - like fury: 9.6 million premises reached to date, with 29% already connected, and our 5G mobile network now reaches 60% of the UK population.”