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Internet service provider BT has unveiled what it claims is the "next generation" of broadband infrastructure.

Between now and spring 2009, the total number of UK households serviced by the Wholesale Broadband Connect scheme is set to rise from one million to about ten million.

The initiative operates over BT's 21st Century Network and is capable of delivering a theoretical maximum speed of up to 24 Mbps.

Sally Davis, chief executive officer of BT Wholesale, says the move comes "in order to support the rising tide of new multimedia applications and multiplay services delivered over broadband".

"Communications providers require a new set of tools to enhance the broadband experience," she observes.

Maximum line speeds are subject to limitations put in place by the distance the user is from their nearest exchange, external interference and other factors.

However, BT suggests that the new network should offer top speeds greater than those already available via broadband.

In financial figures for the year ending December 2007, BT explained that the costs incurred in work done on its 21st Century Network had been offset by efficiency gains elsewhere.

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