The advent of ultra-fast broadband internet in the UK has moved a step closer after BT outlined its plans to trial technology – helping to deliver speeds up to 500Mbps – in two locations this summer.

BT CEO Gavin Pattinson confirmed the proposals today [30th January], with the company aiming to "deploy" technology on a wider scale from 2016/17 – although this depends on the success of the initial launch.

The two trial locations will be Huntingdon and Gosforth and will take in around 4,000 businesses and homes. Early tests suggest could deliver a range of speeds based on how near a premises is to the technology.

MORE: BT trials ultrafast 1Gbps broadband speeds

BT is aiming to offer initial speeds of a "few hundred megabits per second" to millions of locations by 2020, increased up to 500Mbps with the development of new kit and further industry standards concerning is likely to be deployed from "various points" in BT's network, with the pilot schemes offering a chance to assess the options available. BT will also consider a premium service with speeds up to 1Gbps.

It means streaming music and video content from online services – especially at higher resolutions –  could be opened up to a wider number of people across the UK, with more connections able to support such services. 

MORE: BT results boosted by TV and broadband demand

More after the break

Pattinson said: "We believe is the key to unlocking ultra-fast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilot prove successful. 

"The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to broadband and we need to stay ahead as customer demand evolves. will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fibre to date."

Details of the pilot schemes follow a period of testing undertaken at BT's innovation centre in Suffolk, which found that could make use of existing and new fibre street cabinets to deliver faster broadband speeds.

MORE: Tidal to launch high-res streaming service using Meridian MQA


basshound's picture

Be nice if I could get even a

Be nice if I could get even a reasonable speed,can only get about 1Mb via the phone line at the moment

JMac's picture

Superslow Roll Out

I look forward to it being available to the wider populace sometime in the next ten years then. We've only just had 'normal' broadband made available in our "semi-rural" (3 miles from the A1!) location so I doubt it'll happen anytime soon.

Big Aura's picture

wonderful - just make sure to

wonderful - just make sure to employ a "BT business as usual" discount factor to estimated speeds of 70% at off peak and 90% at peak.