BT offers free Infinity fibre upgrades

BT has made a surprise announcement which will come as a pleasant surprise to its retail broadband customers - a free upgrade to BT Infinity, the company's fibre service.

The offer is available to any retail customer who has a telephone bundle that includes the company's Total Broadband Options 2 and 3. If you're on the cheaper Option 1 broadband offering, you'll get a choice of upgrading "for a small additional monthly cost" plus a £25 one-off activation fee.

The move to fibre-optic broadband will bring with it a not-inconsiderable speed boost to 40Mb/s downstream and 2Mb/s upstream - an upgrade from the company's ADSL offering, for sure, but still some way away from rival Virgin Media's 100Mb/s cable broadband package.

However, BT claims that its Unlimited Broadband customers will receive an added bonus. As well as doing away with the 40GB per month download cap, Unlimited Broadband users get a whopping 10Mb/s upstream bandwidth - which will make uploading files significantly less painful, and should please those using their connections for completely legitimate peer-to-peer file sharing of non-copyright content.

John Petter, managing director of BT's consumer division, said of the move, "We are the only company offering you an upgrade to fibre for no extra monthly cost and the only company to offer free line installation across all new bundles," and declared that "fibre is the future of broadband."

There is a catch, however - you'll have to wait patiently for BT Infinity to become available in your area. Despite performing what it claims is "one of the fastest deployments [of fibre] in the world," BT is expecting to have only managed to connect around two thirds of UK homes to the fibre network by 2015.