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BT has moved to quash suggestions that it is backing down from the creation of a £1.5 billion super-fast broadband network in the face of economic uncertainty.

It had been suggested by chief executive Ian Livingston that pressure from shareholders could force BT to shelve the plans to reach ten million British homes with fibre-optic broadband by the year 2010.

Now a spokesman for the telecoms giant has insisted that although it is not safe to say the project will be "completely unaffected by the recession", the plans are definitely not on hold.

Speaking to, he continued: "The project isn't at risk because of the recession. There's nothing that is affecting that investment decision at this moment."

BT recently named Whitchurch in south Wales and Muswell Hill in London as two pilot locations to test the high-speed service.

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