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The first 50Mb service on offer to the general public in the UK has been launched by Yorkshire-based Ask4.

The broadband provider, which operates in the Sheffield and Leeds areas of the region, will trial the package on students living in a specified accommodation zone.

Undergraduates at Sheffield University's Pinnacles residences will be offered the chance of doubling their 25Mb connections.

After the network is trialled on the students, addresses in the Sheffield and Leeds area will also be able to benefit from the high-speed broadband.

Experts believe that the true test of the offering will come in the long-term, when providers are due to push similar high-speed deals into the market.

"Once this limit has been reached then it is a matter of investment, or they risk losing customers to the likes of Virgin Media when they roll out their superfast broadband service," said David Allen of Tech Watch.

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