BT is speeding up the rollout of its fibre broadband services with the intention of reaching its target of having two-thirds of the UK able to access its services by spring 2014.
This is 18 months ahead of its original target, and the revised timetable was welcomed by culture secretary Maria Miller as she underlined the importance of high-speed broadband to the UK.
"Our broadband programme is a key element of our growth and investment agenda and a real priority," she said.
"Connectivity is a key issue for people across the country whether in rural or urban areas and I now look forward to seeing rapid progress in the government-backed projects to connect hard-to-reach areas."
Once complete, some 19 million homes and businesses will be hooked up to BT's network, with 12 million already able to access its services, BT said. It also boasted it would pass Virgin Media's cable footprint in the coming months as this work progresses.
The announcement came on the same day the firm issued its latest financials, which saw revenue drop to £4.74m for the second quarter of 2012, down from £4.89m in the same period last year.
Despite this, though, profits rose by seven per cent from £570m last year to £608m this quarter.
"We have delivered another solid quarter of growth in profit before tax despite the economic conditions and regulatory impacts," said chief executive Ian Livingston, who also touted the firm's involvement in the Olympics as boosting its brand.
"Over the summer we helped to deliver the most connected Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and I am proud of the part that our people played in its success. Our confidence in the future of our business is demonstrated by the 15 per cent increase in the interim dividend."
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