BT today revealed the first set of locations in the UK which will get access to the company's super-fast broadband network.

The network, which is set to launch in 2010, will offer users broadband speeds of up to 40Mbps (even 60Mbps is being touted) and will be available to 500,000 homes and businesses.

Most of the areas chosen are unsurprisingly urban, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Greater Manchester.

There are two rural areas in the mix, however, with Calder Valley (near Halifax) and Taffs Well (near Cardiff) that will also benefit from faster broadband speeds and BT will be looking to 'learn lessons' from deploying fibre in these locations.

Super-fast broadband is essential

BT is getting serious about rolling out super-fast broadband in the UK, with the company investing £1.5 billion by 2012 to make sure that 40 per cent of homes in the UK will have faster web access.

"Super-fast broadband is essential to the UK's future and so it is great to announce this initial set of locations," said Steve Robertson, CEO of BT's Openreach.

"The wider industry will now be able to plan ahead as we will be making our services available on a wholesale basis. This approach will benefit customers as there will undoubtedly be fierce competition for their business."

BT isn't the only company bringing super-fast broadband to the UK. Last December, Virgin Media announced a 50Mbps broadband service.