Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 17:47 UK

BT rolls out 'faster broadband'

ADSL2+ offers potentially faster broadband speeds

Faster broadband speeds could soon be on offer to a limited number of people in the UK as BT starts offering access to its 21st Century Network.

BT Wholesale will be offering its ADSL2+ technology to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from this week.

But only a million households will be able to get access to the service, which offers speeds of up to 24Mbps.

Jupiter analyst Ian Fogg said the roll-out was "tardy" and available to "a tiny fraction" of UK households.

Writing on his blog, he said: "If this is BT's 21st century network then those fibre to the home networks are for the 22nd century."

Some ISPs in the UK, such as Sky, O2 and Be, have already begun to offer ADSL2+ in the UK by deploying their own technology in exchanges.

House graphic

"BT appear to have reverted to the sloth of the Home Highway period, rather than building upon their more recent successes in extending DSL's UK availability so widely," said Mr Fogg.

BT said ADSL2+ would reach a "potential footprint of 10 million homes and businesses by the spring of 2009".

The company could give no guarantee that customers would get the theoretical maximum 24Mbps speed promised by ADSL2+.

"Line speeds will be subject to individual line conditions," the firm said in a statement.

Broadband speeds over ADSL drop sharply the further the home is from the exchange.

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