BT accelerates high-speed broadband rollout

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The UK once lagged behind other countries in its implementation of high-speed broadband, but there are signs that things are improving.

Virgin Media has already introduced its 100Mbps service in some parts of the country, and BT is accelerating its rollout of fibre optic broadband.

The telecoms provider now plans to offer 'super-fast' internet speeds to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014 – a year ahead of its original schedule.

The firm says its main broadband product will offer maximum download speeds about ten times faster than at present, at around 70-100Mbps. That will help it compete against Virgin Media's 100Mbps service.

Around six million UK premises already have access to its fibre broadband technology, says BT, and it aims to increase that to about ten million properties (around 40% of the total) by the end of next year.

To achieve this, BT has employed an additional 520 engineers and is bringing forward a further £300m investment in its broadband infrastructure.

"Our rollout of fibre broadband is one of the fastest in the world and so it is great to be ahead of what was an already challenging schedule," says BT's chief executive Ian Livingston.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.