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BT rolls out FTTP network in UK

Speeds of 300Mbs promised by 2012, 110Mbs now

BT Openreach is rolling out a new 'fibre to the premises' cabling network in the UK which it promises will bring internet speeds of 300Mbs to homes by 2012.

The service launched commercially this week, giving homes access 'up to' 11Mbs immediately, but the 300Mbps download service will become available in spring.

The company is also doubling the speed of 'fibre to the cabinet' services to 80Mbps.

"These are significant announcements and good news for the UK, " said DCMS minister Ed Vaizey.

"High-speed broadband is essential for economic growth, which is why we want the UK to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.

"Improving the UK's broadband infrastructure will help our high-tech, digital industries grow. It will ensure the UK is an attractive place to start-up and base the businesses of tomorrow."

Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield was keen to stress that the service would not be limited to the UK's larger towns and cities.

"No-one is keener than us to extend these super-fast speeds to rural areas and so we will be bidding for public funds to help extend these services even further," she said.

"The challenge is a tough one but by working with the public sector it is within our reach."

Until now, nearly all UK broadband packages have been sold under an agreement of maximum speed, or an 'up to' rating. Over subscription and inferior infrastructure have meant that many of these connections never reach the advertised speeds, especially at busy times.

Recently, BT teamed up with OnLive as the streaming service's UK launch partner, offering discounts and special offers to customers. Connection speed is considered to be one of the major hurdles in streaming services' path to success.

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