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BT has announced plans to launch a 1Gbps fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband product through its Openreach division, a notable increase from the current high of 330Mbps.

BT said that Openreach will offer wholesale customers, such as Sky, TalkTalk and BT Retail, the chance to sell the faster service from 6 December.

The 1Gbps service will cost £80 per month to retailers, and therefore probably well over £100 a month to end users. Upload speeds are a claimed 220Mbps.

BT Openreach CEO Clive Selley explained that the firm expects the new superfast offering to be of particular interest to SMEs.

“We’ve been working closely with our wholesale communication provider customers to develop these new ultrafast products, and we expect the new higher speed services to be of particular interest to small and medium businesses,” he said.

“This is another example of how our mixed technology approach is getting the fastest possible speeds to the largest number of people in the shortest possible time.”

BT Openreach will also offer a second new service with a 500Mbps download speed and 165Mbps upload.

The company said that the move is being made to coincide with the ongoing rollout of BT’s fibre network. Some 327,000 premises are currently connected to the FTTP network, although this will double by the end of 2017.

BT expects two million premises to be hooked up to the network by 2020 as part of its promise to have 12 million superfast connections in the UK by this date.

The move comes amid numerous projects around the UK to boost fibre connections, including from BT which is set to roll out more fibre services in cities around the UK.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media recently announced plans for a major network rollout in Scotland, while CityFibre continues to add more towns to its network as it looks to rival BT Openreach by offering a wholesale alternative.

This will all be welcome news to the government which is now putting fibre at the heart of its connectivity strategy, claiming that the UK needs a network that will meet future needs.

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