BT to spend extra billion on fibre network

BT has announced it will spend an extra £1 billion rolling out super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the UK within the next five years.

The company plans to roll out its Infinity network, which uses fibre optic cables to offer broadband services with download speeds of up to 40Mbit/s, and uploads at 10Mbit/s.

In a statement released this morning, chief executive Ian Livingston told investors: "We are investing in the future of our business, enhancing our TV offering and building on opportunities in our Global Services business.

"Assuming an acceptable environment for investment, we see the potential to roll out fibre to around two-thirds of the UK by 2015," Livingston said, adding: "This will take our total fibre investment to £2.5 billion."

Livingston also said that BT hoped to add Sky Sports to its BT Vision online TV service in time for the football season this autumn, after regulator Ofcom threatened Sky with fines if it failed to cut prices for the channel to competitors.

The BT announcement came as the company revealed it had returned to profit after its poor performance last year. In the year to March, BT made pre-tax profits of £1 billion, compared with losses of £244 million the previous year.