Incumbent promises deployment will be ‘predominantly’ FTTP; aims to complete rollout by March 2019

BT on Thursday announced plans to spend £20 million to upgrade and extend ultrafast broadband coverage in Northern Ireland.

The U.K. incumbent said the deployment will predominantly involve rolling out fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP); however, it did not reveal exactly how many premises it plans to pass.

"We’re delighted to be investing at this significant level, delivering against our local ambition to futureproof our Northern Ireland infrastructure and rank favourably amongst the best fibre networks in Europe," said Mairead Meyer, managing director, networks, at BT Northern Ireland.

BT aims to complete the upgrade programme by March 2019, by which time, 140,000 more premises in Northern Ireland will be able to access ultrafast services.

"Today’s announcement is ultimately about driving choice and competition in this market because the network is available on an open wholesale basis to all broadband providers, meaning households and businesses will benefit from a choice of services, competitive pricing and products," Meyer said.

To support the rollout, BT also plans to recruit an additional 42 apprentices and graduates over the next 10 months. Roles include designing, planning and building the new network.