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BT testing 100Mb/sec fibre broadband

Trials of super-fast broadband over fibre optic are to take place from August in Kent.

BT is to conduct public trials of fibre optic broadband services, as the company looks at ways to offer faster and more feature-rich services to users in the future.

The trials, taking place from August within the new Ebbsfleet Valley development in Kent will offer data rates as high as 100Mb/sec.

10,000 new homes will be built on the development, which is the first in the UK to install last-mile fibre optic cable connections to all new residences.

The service will be offered as a wholesale service to ISPs, who will then offer individual internet access products to customers, though prices have yet to be confirmed.

"This is our first deployment of fibre rather than copper to residential customers on a new build site. It will enable communication providers to gauge what demand exists for very high speed broadband, and to assess what commercial models may be appropriate in the future," says Steve Robertson, chief executive of Openreach, BT's infrastructure division.

Although there are already around 120,000 businesses around the UK which use fibre optic connections, Ofcom is currently engaged in a consultation about how best to proceed with fibre optic infrastructure development.

BT has previously resisted investment in fibre optic cables to the home, although it has installed it in other areas, claiming that the investment will primarily benefit ISPs.

Instead it has been developing its 21CN network, based on existing copper infrastructure, that will provide a maximum speed of around 22Mb/sec.

PC Pro is reporting direct from CES 2008 in Las Vegas all this week, bringing you interviews, breaking news and all the new technology you could hope for. You can find the latest coverage at our CES homepage.

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