BT ahead on 100Mbps UK fibre optic broadband roll-out

But super-fast service will only cover 40% of UK

BT has revealed its super-fast fibre broadband network will be completed by 2012.

According to the ISP, the fibre-optic cable network, which will offer up to 100Mbps, is now "ahead of schedule", having originally been expected to be finished in 2013.

"Given the progress we're making, four million homes will have access to fibre by the end of next year," said BT's Ian Livingston.

BT will run fibre-optic cables direct to some homes so they will be able to achieve speeds of up to 100Mbps. Alternatively, in areas where BT runs fibre cables to the cabinets and then connects to the existing copper cables, homes will be offered internet speeds of up to 40Mbps.

It is thought that the service will only be available to 40 percent of the country, mainly in towns and cities.

The UK government said it plans for 90 percent of the UK to have access to super-fast broadband by 2017.

However, Livingstone said that the government would need to help with the cost of providing Brits with 100Mbps internet access.

"If you look around the world, several governments are pro-actively supporting the roll out of fibre broadband. There's still a debate in the UK - which is fine - but we need our politicians to decide how much of a priority fibre broadband is," added Livingstone.

BT's announcement comes just weeks after Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed plans for a broadband tax of £6 per year, payable be Brits with a telephone line, will be rolled out in next year's Budget.

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See also: BT promises 24Mbps broadband to 75% of UK

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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