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openreach engineers

Openreach has announced that 3,500 new trainee engineers are to be recruited over the coming year.

The infrastructure body recently pledged to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband available to three million premises by 2020.

FTTP offers speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is enough to stream 200 HD movies simultaneously, and significantly faster than the 24Mbps speeds delivered by superfast broadband.

The work is due to commence in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Openreach is confident this will set it "on the right trajectory" to achieve its goal of building a ten million FTTP footprint by the mid-2020s.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, believes the new trainee engineers will therefore play a "vital role in the future success and prosperity of the UK".

"Over the last year, our 22,200 engineers have been the driving force behind government reaching its target of making ‘superfast’ broadband available to more than 95 per cent of the country, whilst also improving our customer service performance - but we want to do more," he said.

Mr Selley went on to state that this announcement of new jobs undermines its commitment to making its Fibre First programme a reality and future-proofing Britain's broadband network, as well as supporting emerging mobile technologies such as 5G.

He added that he is confident Openreach's investment in people and infrastructure will help the UK "achieve the societal and economic benefits that come from better, more reliable, faster broadband services".

Openreach's announcement has been commended by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who said new full-fibre broadband technology will be welcomed by families and businesses across the UK.

Furthermore, he stated that the creation of 3,500 new permanent and highly skilled jobs will be a "boost to our talented workforce, as we build an economy fit for the future".

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