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BT has launched a new wholesale broadband service that will allow broadband suppliers to offer nationwide next-generation connections to their customers.

Following the launch of the enhancement, internet service providers (ISPs) on the company's 21st Century Network (21CN) will be able to deliver regular and high-speed broadband services across the UK over a single backhaul link.

This means that consumers will be given a greater choice of broadband packages from suppliers signed up with BT's wholesale division.

Called Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect, the new service will also help ISPs to encourage more users onto BT's 21CN, it is hoped.

Sam Baldwin, director of broadband and content services at BT Wholesale, explained that the new service will allow for the provision of 24Mb ADSL, as well as fibre-optic connections.

"This service opens the door for communications providers, particularly our smaller and mid-tier customers, to offer their end users next-generation broadband services," he added.

At present, BT's next-generation broadband is available from exchanges covering 40 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK, a figure that is expected to rise to 55 per cent by next spring.

Last month, the telecom company noted that its high-speed wireless broadband is now available at 500,000 homes, businesses and city centres in the UK and Ireland.

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