8Mbps broadband goes nationwide

We’re not yet living in a broadband wonderland where everyone enjoys 8Mbps speed and faster, but prospects are looking up. On 31st March, BT’s spread

We’re not yet living in a broadband wonderland where everyone enjoys 8Mbps speed and faster, but prospects are looking up.

On 31st March, BT’s spreading the joy of 8Mpbs broadband – or thereabouts - to 99.6 per cent of UK homes, the first time such high speeds have been available to the entire country. Previous offerings from the likes of Wanadoo have been limited to certain jammy regions and cities.

Of course, as we’ve discovered while trialling Be’s otherwise fantastic 24Mbps broadband (hear more on our latest podcast here www.stuffmag.co.uk/podcast) in London, the real world speed you’ll enjoy depends on postcode lottery. BT reckons only a lucky few of us will get the magic 8Mbps, while 42 per cent can expect 6Mbps and four fifths should receive 4Mbps.

To achieve these feats, BT’s been sending lots of men in hats – some call them engineers – to upgrade 5300 exchanges. The company’s current broadband packages top out at 2Mbps.

As well as bringing high-speed web to homes with an increasing number of internet-connected gadgets – a Media Centre in the lounge, laptop in the study, Squeezebox in the bedroom and Xbox 360 in the games room – the 8Mbps service neatly paves the way for BT’s Sky-rivalling TV service launching at the end of the summer. The internet-delivered BT TV will work with an under-wraps Philips set-top box and feature on-demand shows from big names such as BBC Worldwide, HIT Entertainment (Bob the Builder, Pingu) and the Geographic Channel.

Jump to BT Total Broadband to find out more.

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