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BT promises 1Gb/s broadband

Government plans to invest £830 million levied from the BBC licence fee on offering an ultra-fast broadband infrastructure to every British home by 2015 has left companies salivating at the thought - and BT is one of the first to try and get its hands on the cash.

In an announcement this morning, the telecommunications giant reported plans to being a trial of 1Gb/s broadband early next year through its Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) offering, which powers its own Infinity Broadband service.

Unlike Infinity, however, the trial will offer a whopping 1Gb/s downstream and 400Mb/s upstream - far higher than any connection available to the general public in the UK so far, and a significant boost from the 40Mb/s downstream maximum that Infinity offers.

The company is hoping that the promise of a 1Gb/s infrastructure will be enough to convince the government to dump the majority of the planned £830 million broadband investment package, taken from the BBC's licence fee, with BT: "Were BT to win funds on that scale," the company claims, "[our] initial estimates suggest that, with supplementary funding, it could extend fibre to up to 90 per cent of UK premises, assuming no unfavourable changes to the investment or regulatory environment."

The chances of the government dumping the entire £830 million pot with a single privately held company are, of course, slim - despite the carrot of a far more rapid rollout of the fibre-optic FTTC technology and the possibility of world-leading broadband speeds - but it's not stopping BT from chancing its arm.

Expect similar pitches of increasingly fervent nature from competing telecommunications firms in the near future, as everyone tries to get a piece of the funding for themselves.