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BT Offers Free 20Mbps Broadband Upgrade

BT is set to offer a free upgrade to its broadband customers bumping its top speed to up to 20mbps from 8mbps as early as this summer.

The broadband provider says that 40 percent of its 4.8 million UK customers will see the new improved speed within the next few months with an additional 15 percent getting access to the faster lane by March 2010.

The catch is that existing 8mbps customers will have to sign for a new one year contract. Furthermore, customers are very unlikely to experience speeds even near to that.

BT's speed upgrade comes a few months after cable rival Virgin Media phased out its entry level 2mbps broadband offer and swapped existing customers' lines for a 10mbps one for free.

The company is also trialling new ADSL2+ technology and will start testing a new 40mbps fiber to the cabinet broadband infrastructure in London and Cardiff from next month.

New customers will pay £7.78 per month for the first 3 months and £15.65 therafter plus the line rental costs to get speeds up to 20mbps.

BT will be using the £10 iPlate to reduce electrical noise and large scale surveys have shown that that the now rebadged BT broadband accelerator could more than double the speed of the line.

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Gavin Patterson, chief executive officer, BT Retail wrote in a statement: “Unlike other providers, BT is upgrading customers to 20Mb for free. High-speed broadband provides a faster and more reliable service that will transform the way we live, work, learn and play.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.