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Old 11-December-2010, 13:28
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News! BT's job cuts leave it unable to cope with demand for broadband

BT has apologised to its corporate customers after drastic job cuts left the telecoms giant struggling to keep up with rising demand for broadband.

BT, which has shed more than 35,000 jobs over the past three years, admitted it has been forced into "hiring extra resources" to meet its commitments to corporate customers, such as TalkTalk and BSkyB.

The Daily Telegraph understands that executives at BT's Openreach division wrote to internet service providers that piggyback on its network to apologise for poor service, which has delayed them from signing up new customers. BT has promised to improve its engineers' response times, which have also been affected by the recent poor weather, within the next 90 days.

A spokesman for BT said the company had been swamped by a "substantial and unexpected" spike in demand for new connections.

"[Customers] are experiencing slower lead times for engineering and repair visits. We are confident that we can restore normal service levels by re-allocating and in some cases hiring extra resources," he added.

Last year BT placed 4,000 of its highly skilled engineers on other duties as part of a multi-million cost saving drive. Even though they have all been returned to their engineering duties, BT is still failing to meet its response time targets.

The company has also doubled the size its apprentice training scheme.

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