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Super fast broadband connections are fast becoming the new industry standard, with the news that Orange has unveiled a range of competitively priced 20Mb products.

Orange is today launching new four home broadband offerings - Home Starter, Home Select, Home Max and Home Ultra - all of which feature a download speed of up to 20Mb and are priced between £6.50 and £13.50 per month. The cheapest deal, Home Max, includes free broadband for the first three months as part of a limited period incentive.

The maximum connection speed of up to 20Mb will be available to customers who live in an Orange broadband network area (LLU area). This encompasses 65 per cent of all UK homes.

Orange’s announcement comes as junior internet service provider Zen has this week revealed that it has upgraded its service by raising the maximum speed available from 8Mb to 20Mb. This applies across the company’s product range, with the cheapest deal, dubbed Zen Lite, priced at £17.61 per month.

Zen will also be rolling out the faster service for its existing subscriber base of 100,000 people and plans to implement the upgrade for 3,000 customers every month.

Rival providers including BT, Virgin Media, Be and O2 already offer 20Mb products, leaving major industry players who have yet to upgrade in the minority. The group is expected to become smaller still should rumours prove to be true that PlusNet will join the growing band of 20Mb-plus providers later this week.

The industry-wide move to faster connections comes after a succession of consumer polls revealed that connection speeds are Britons number one priority when choosing a broadband supplier.

Jessica McArdle, marketing manager of Top 10 Broadband, welcomed the announcements, which she hailed as "a seismic shift" in the UK broadband market.

She said: “Top 10 Broadband can finally announce that broadband customers need no longer choose between speed and value.

“At just £6.50 a month for 20Mb, Orange's Home Max package allows you to have it all. The upgrade from Orange, coupled with BT's roll out of 20Mb and Virgin Media's 50Mb offering, means that 2009 is sure to go down as the year when "up to 8Mb" became the new dial-up.”

Available now from Top 10 Broadband, all four of Orange's revamped packages run over 18-month contracts and feature unlimited downloads (subject to fair usage), a free wireless router and free security software. For further details see our dedicated Orange provider page.

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