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Superfast broadband for the Olympics, says BT

Fibre - key to a decent broadband service
Fibre - key to a decent broadband service

British Telecom had anticipated completing its superfast broadband network by March 2013, but is now spending an extra £1.5 billion in order to have the work complete in time for the 2012 Olympics.

The company has been trialling the network and now plans to have it in place by June 2012, one month ahead of the Olympic Games in London.

The new network will offer download speeds of about 40 megabits per second, about 10 times the current rate. However, the high-speed network will only reach about 40 per cent of UK homes by that point.

Will there be a government subsidy?

BT chief executive Ian Livingston has voiced concern about whether there will be a future government subsidy to allow further expansion of the network.

Currently, the proposed £6 a year fixed-line levy the government, which would raise £175 m a year, would be used to for an increased network.

However, the Conservatives have said they might scrap that tax if they win next year's general election.

Mr. Livingston told the Financial Times: "We need our politicians to decide how much of a priority fibre broadband is. BT is the only company currently planning to invest large sums in this area but we can only go so far with our shareholders' money."

Via FT