Feeds

BT's new network heralds engineer job carnage

Confirms ISP price cuts

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

BT says its new network technology, currently on trial in Wales, will allow it to slash its engineering staff by thousands.

The 21st Century Network (21CN) fibre optics, which BT is spending £10bn to lay nationwide by 2011, will ensure broadband customer service will improve, said Paul Reynolds, head of the firm's wholesale division in an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday.

ADSL2+ is being rolled out at 21CN exchanges, which should offer speeds of 24Mbps. Reynolds said the trial, conducted in a couple of hundred homes in south Wales, had reported no faults and would generate £1bn in annual cost savings once turned on elsewhere. 21CN will use internet protocol for all voice traffic too.

BT, which made a pre-tax profit of £2.17bn last year, has not put a number on how many engineers are for the chop. Reynolds refused to be more specific than "several thousand", adding that some would find jobs elsewhere in the business.

The Communication Workers Union says 6,500 will go.

Network upgrade programmes in France and Germany are set to deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps. National incumbents on the continent are seeking to protect their investment from broadband competitors, invoking the ire of the European Commission, however.

BT said its network would deliver an equally rich "communications experience" to the French and German upgrades. At the launch of its video on demand service BT Vision in December, the telco was cagey about whether it would be able to deliver high definition TV, however.

In separate news, BT reaffirmed a series of broadband wholesale price cuts today. From 1 May, IPStream, which it sells to rival ISPs for consumers and businesses whose line has not been unbundled at the local exchange, will come down nine per cent per month. It'll now cost the ISP £6.39 for each line at wholesale. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.