A string of rural communities across the UK saw fibre broadband services activated on Wednesday December 18th as part of the government's 'Super Switch on Day'.
Homes and businesses in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Cheshire and Shropshire can now - for the first time - sign up for super-fast broadband deals.
The total number of premises expected to have access to fibre broadband as a result of network upgrades is 200,000, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) stated.
"'Super Switch on Day' marks the enormous progress made during 2013 – there are now real results being seen on the ground," the department stated.
"The national rollout is accelerating, with many projects already ahead of schedule."
The DCMS explained that 10,000 premises per week are gaining access to super-fast broadband, and this will increase to 25,000 per week in spring 2014.
It added that the government is "well on track" to deliver on its commitment to provide 95 per cent fibre broadband coverage by 2017.
Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said the UK is seeing "an incredible transformation" of super-fast broadband, with the nation "well ahead" of other major European countries.
"We’re determined to ensure everyone benefits and that broadband is available in the very hardest to reach areas of Britain, making a real difference to people who live in these communities," she stated.
'Super Switch on Day' saw a number of other project milestones, such as Durham gaining its first fibre-enabled street cabinet.
The rollout projects in Cumbria and Suffolk have passed the 10,000-premises mark, while Norfolk now has 17,000 homes and businesses with access to fibre services.