BT is to offer superfast broadband speeds at up to 300 megabits per second to both its retail customers and rival broadband providers on a wholesale basis from next spring, in a move that will transform speeds across the country.
The British government has been urging the industry to develop faster broadband speeds in its bid to make British businesses more competitive and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the news.
But broadband figures reveal the UK still has a long way to go to achieve its goal of being the fastest in Europe by 2015.
BT said it will begin trialing the super-fast technology known as Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) this month.
It is investing £2.5 billion ($3.9 billion) to make fibre broadband available to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015, although only around a quarter of these will benefit from FTTP.
The majority of its money is going into Fibre-to-the-Cabinet technology (FTTC), which is slower because it uses copper cabling for the final section between the cabinet and the building. At present, FTTC can hit 110Mbps downstream speeds and will be available in just six locations from the end of October.
More than 5 million premises already have access to the fibre to the cabinet network and the company said in July that over 200,000 had signed up for the product.
"These are significant announcements and good news for the UK," Vaizey said in a statement. "High-speed broadband is essential for economic growth, which is why we want the UK to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.
"Improving the UK's broadband infrastructure will help our high-tech, digital industries grow. It will ensure the UK is an attractive place to start up and base the businesses of tomorrow."