Feeds

BT's new network heralds engineer job carnage

Confirms ISP price cuts

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?