In the news... British Telecom

Bring us up to speed

Telecoms giant BT is to invest a mammoth £1.5bn rolling out super-fast broadband to as many as ten million British homes by 2012. A new glass-fibre network will deliver broadband up to a super-quick 100 megabits per second, enabling customers 'to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications'. In essence, consumers can download high-definition movies at the same time as solving Pi to 50,000 places.

The media reaction?

The media love investment stories and hyped up the announcement, giving a general flavour of 'British company doing well'. Such was the tone of pieces running the story on Tuesday morning that many ignored altogether the fact that the cost means BT will suspend its current share buy-back programme. A less groundbreaking investment or a harsher media, and the suspension could have been the main story.

Who are the PR players?

Multibillion-pound investments usually see the CEO rolled out and this was no different. BT chief executive Ian Livingston claimed the move was a 'bold step by BT and we need others to be just as bold'. His comments pointed to the need for regulatory help, which the firm pushed for in its announcement. So, group director of comms Peter Morgan will be pulling the strings on this one.

Anything to learn here?

BT expertly used a big announcement to start a lobbying campaign for a 'supportive and enduring regulatory environment'. The firm said it would be discussing with Ofcom 'the conditions necessary to enable this programme to progress'. It also said it was 'keen to partner with people who share our vision'.

£1.5bn Investment in providing super-fast broadband.

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