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BT Openreach is to hire 400 new engineers to help roll out super-fast broadband services across the UK.

The broadband infrastructure provider said it expects most of the new jobs to be filled by ex-armed forces personnel.

As a result of the recruitment drive, the total number of new engineers hired in 2012 will rise to more than 1,000.

BT Openreach employed around 600 new engineers in the first half of the year.

"The extra engineers will play an important role by joining [our] mobile workforce, reacting quickly to changes in service requirements from communications providers and helping tackle peaks in demand for fibre broadband around the country," the firm stated.

"This workforce is composed of engineers who aren't confined to one geography but who instead are prepared to work where the need is greatest thereby providing Openreach with greater flexibility."

BT Openreach's fibre network already passes more than 11 million premises, but the plan is for that footprint to expand even further.

The company wants to be able to offer super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014.

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, has welcomed the announcement, describing it as "good news" for the whole country.

"BT is creating jobs while rolling-out the digital infrastructure UK businesses need to grow," he stated.

"Digital technology is fundamental to the way we live our lives and the way we do business, which is why we want the UK to have the best and the fastest superfast broadband in Europe by 2015."

BT Openreach's Chief Executive Olivia Garfield said she was "delighted" to be able to recruit the extra employees.

"Our engineers are doing a fantastic job keeping the copper network in shape, as well as deploying fibre at breakneck speed, and the new recruits will help us go even further, faster," she claimed.

“Fibre broadband will be vital to the future health of the UK. It has the potential to transform the economy and help create thousands of jobs. Our engineers are playing a critical role by deploying infrastructure that will underpin the economy for many years to come.”

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