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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 12:37 GMT
BT 'quadruples' broadband speeds
BT office
BT is behind its rivals in some areas
BT is to increase its broadband speeds by up to four times from 31 March.

The firm said 78% of its users would be able to access at least four megabits per second (4Mbps), compared with the maximum of two available now.

Almost half would get 6Mbps and those close to their local exchange would be able to access 8Mbps.

Some rival providers already offer up to 24Mbps, but their services are restricted mainly to clusters of users in big cities.

BT said more than 5,300 exchanges serving more than 99.6% of UK homes and businesses were being upgraded to support the higher speeds.

As well as making web browsing and e-mailing quicker, higher speeds mean people can do more with their net connection, such as watching video, listening to audio, and playing online games.

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