via Gizmodo

Following months of hearsay and conjecture BT has finally confirmed that it'll be digging up roads this year to kick-start plans to lay down fibre optic cables so it can offer super-fast broadband.

The 1.5bn project should offer top speeds of 100Mb/s and it claims has the potential to reach over 1,000Mb/s in the future.

Ian Livingstone, BT's chief executive enthused "Broadband has boosted the UK economy and is now an essential part of our customers' lives. We now want to make a step-change in broadband provision which will offer faster speeds than ever before. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in Britain's broadband story."

About time really, since we're already behind much of the rest of Europe in the speed stakes, but Virgin Media seems to have a face-on about it since it points out that it already has a nationwide fibre optic network in place.

Admittedly Virgin's speed isn't as fast; it plans to offer a 50Mb/s service later this year to 12 million UK consumers, but when you bear in mind the unlikeness of BT actually getting close to 100Mb/s as a sustainable rate, along with the fact that it won't be available until 2012, it makes you wonder if they can't work together a bit more effectively to spread the cost.