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UK ISP BT Total Broadband Offers FREE 20Mbps Speed Boosts

Posted: 03rd Jun, 2009 By: MarkJ
Customers of the BT Retail's Total Broadband service, which is used by 4.8 Million business and residential consumers around the UK, will be pleased to learn that the operator is upgrading all connections to support speeds of up to 20Mbps and free of charge. The move is made possible thanks to BT's somewhat late adoption of ADSL2+ technology, which has been around for awhile.

Roughly 60,000 consumers are already enjoying the faster speeds through a trial and the upgrade to ADSL2+ technology will be available to other homes in the summer. BT Retail customers already have speeds of up to 8Mbps, though few ever experience the top speed due to natural line length limits and interference, among other things. Upload speeds will also be boosted by up to 1Mbps.

Based on BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) platform, the faster speeds will initially be available from 549 telephone exchanges, serving more than 10 million (40%) of the UK’s homes and businesses. BT plans to extend that coverage to 55% by March 2010, subject to customer demand.

Gavin Patterson, chief executive officer, BT Retail said: "Unlike other providers, BT is upgrading customers to 20Mb/s for free. High-speed broadband provides a faster and more reliable service that will transform the way we live, work, learn and play. We are already the UK’s largest retailer of broadband and today’s announcement shows that we offer terrific value for money. We believe the true value of broadband is in helping customers enjoy the exciting new services that it makes possible. In line with the Government’s Digital Britain review, we will be making higher speeds more widely available."

To sweeten the deal BT will also offer its BT Broadband Accelerator (iPlate) device free to any consumers and businesses that are likely to benefit. The iPlate is a useful plug and play line filter that usually retails for around £10 and can cut out interference from a telephone line, making broadband both faster and more stable.

Contrary to the spin in BT's press release, the new upgrade will not mean that all of its customers suddenly see huge jumps in broadband speed. Those living furthest from their exchange will be more likely to see smaller jumps of anything from +256Kbps (0.25Mbps) to an extra +1 or 2Mbps above what they get now. This is still good news though and well done BT for offering free iPlate's.
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