British Telecom To Blanket UK With 500Mbps, 1Gbps Broadband Starting In 2016

British Telecom (BT) has an ambitious plan to supercharge the U.K.'s broadband infrastructure. Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, outlined plans to deploy its "" technology on a widespread scale, starting with two pilot locations this summer. According to Patterson, will enable speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the U.K. within a decade, with deployment starting in 2016.

The exact speeds a customer can hit will depend on how far away they are from the technology. Initially, BT is aiming to hit a few hundred megabits per second to hundreds of homes and businesses by 2020, with speeds increasing to 500Mbps as it develops a new kit around emerging industry standards.

Initial pilots will start in the summer in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and Gosforth, Newcastle. These two locations will serve around 4,000 homes and businesses, while giving BT a chance to see what is capable of when scaled out.

British Telecom

"BT is a world leader when it comes to fiber innovation and we are excited about the next stage in our story," Patterson said. "We believe is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilots prove successful. That upgrade will depend however on there continuing to be a stable regulatory environment that supports investment." is an emerging technology that builds on VDSL2 and is capable of hitting high speeds over short loops, which are typically shorter than 250m. This allows ISPs to offer fast connections into homes without investing in costly alternative solutions, such as fiber-to-the-home.

BT is expected to deploy from different points in the network, giving it more flexible rollout options. The company also plans to develop a premium fiber broadband service for customers who need or want speeds up to 1Gbps.