Millions of homes and businesses are set to enjoy a free broadband-boost after BT announced it will more than double the speeds for its residential and business customers.
More than 60,000 consumers are already enjoying the faster speeds through a BT trial.
The upgrade to ADSL 2+ technology will be available to other homes in the summer.
BT Retail broadband customers already enjoy speeds of up to 8Mbit/s.
The new plans will see consumers and businesses in enabled areas receive faster speeds of up to 20Mbit/s as part of their broadband service, at no extra cost.
Based on BT’s 21CN platform, the faster speeds will initially be available from 549 telephone exchanges, serving more than ten million – or about 40 per cent – of the
The company plans to extend that coverage to 55 per cent by March 2010 subject to customer demand.
As well as boosting download speeds, upload speeds will increase to up to 1Mbit/s.
BT research has shown that one of the major causes of slower broadband speeds lies in customers’ home wiring.
To address this, the company is set to offer the BT Broadband Accelerator (also known as the BT I-Plate), which eliminates electrical interference from telephone-extension wiring and can improve broadband speeds and reliability.
The company will be giving away the devices for free to consumers and businesses that are likely to benefit.
In a separate move, BT Retail will begin the first trials of up to 40Mbit/s fibre-based broadband in Whitchurch,