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80Mbps fibre broadband opened to all UK broadband providers

All British broadband providers will be able to offer 80Mbps fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband from early April.

BT Openreach, which provides the connections for all UK broadband providers – except cable and satellite – is doubling the speed of its current 40Mbps fibre service.

The upgrade also doubles uplink speeds from 10Mbps to 20Mbps, with fibre broadband generally reaching around 90 per cent of its advertised speed.

Openreach aims to make fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband available to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.

Mike Galvin, Openreach MD of Network Investment said: “We said we would double fibre speeds by this Spring and this is exactly what we have done. This is a significant milestone both for Openreach’s fibre network and for broadband speeds in the UK.

“The faster speeds will be available in a month’s time and so it is now up to broadband providers to decide how and when they offer these faster speeds to their customers. The platform is there and we are confident there will be demand for these enhanced services.”

The first broadband provider to announce an 80Mbps service is TalkTalk, which will charge a £15/month premium over its existing 40Mps service from April.

Fibre-to-the-cabinet uses very high speed fibre-optic cables to deliver broadband to a street cabinet, usually less than a mile from the user’s premises.

From the cabinet, traditional copper cables are used to reach the customer, using VDSL (Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line) technology that can reach up to 100Mbps.