BT's CEO Ian Livingstone has said that the deployment of a multi-billion pound overhaul of the UK's broadband lines is likely to be hit by the recession.

Shareholders in the company are apparently demanding BT holds fire on the £1.5bn move, saying it's best to wait a while before deployment.

"I have to tell you there are some shareholders who say 'you know something, don't do that, don't do a whole lot of other things. That leaves you with a lot more cash and cash today is worth a lot more than cash in a few years' time'," Livingstone said.

No whizz-bang

BT is to shed 10,000 jobs during 2009, but even this cost-cutting measure has meant that the chances of getting the whizz-bang connection in the near future are slim.

Livingstone also said he needed more reassurance from Ofcom that the scheme will make BT money.

"We need to have the environment in which our shareholders feel there is a good chance of us making a return", he said.

"If we cannot have that environment this is not the time to be taking on sure-fire losses."