BT to invest extra £1bn in broadband; shares surge

Telecoms operator BT has announced its plans to invest extra one billion pounds in its fibre-optic broadband network to expand its super-fast broadband service to cover two-thirds of British households by 2015.

The newly announced investment will be in addition to firm’s already on-going plans to spend 1.5 billion pounds on its fibre-optic network to offer super-fast broadband to 40 per cent of British households by 2012.

As per estimates, around four million households will get access to super-fast broadband by the end of this year, and BT chief executive Ian Livingston believes that investments of 2.5 billion pounds would lift the figure drastically during the next five years.

The super-fast broadband will enhance firm’s on-demand digital TV service, BT Vision, which could pressurize its rivals such as Virgin Media and Sky.

BT has reported an increase of 13 per cent in pre-tax profits to 1.8 billion pounds for full-year to March 31, against a loss of 244 million pounds last year. Dividend has been increased by 6 per cent to 6.9 pence-a-share.

Promising financial targets declared by the BT CEO pushed firm’s shares up by 10.9 per cent to 133.6 pence-a-share.