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Openreach has connected its first customer in a pilot of hybrid fibre technology capable of reaching speeds of up to 330Mbps.

Gillingham-based Temiz book-keeping now has access to the technology as part of the trial, which aims to connect 138,000 premises in 17 areas by the end of this month, reports.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, said the longer term goal is to make ultrafast speeds available to up to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

This, he stated, will be "another boost to the UK's thriving digital economy".

"We want to improve the personal and professional lives of people up and down the country, and delivering high-speed services at scale and pace means we can reach more of them," he commented.

Mr Selley went on to state that it is "great to see" the first customers being switched on and reaping the benefits.

"We’re looking forward to delivering ultrafast speeds to the largest number of people in the fastest possible time over the coming months and years," he said.

Mehmet Uzum, Owner of Temiz book-keeping, noted that all of its client data is stored in the cloud.

He said having ultrafast speeds therefore means it can download and upload this information instantly, regardless of how many client accounts it is working on at the same time.

Mr Uzum added that previously, uploading large data files could take several hours, whereas now the same can be achieved in just a couple of minutes.

"It is a big time saver," he observed.

The use of technology has nevertheless prompted criticism from some quarters in recent months, on the grounds that BT is still persisting with partly copper-based broadband systems.

For instance, Vodafone recently commissioned a study that found that under BT's current plans, the technology will increase ultrafast coverage for households by less than five per cent.

The research by Point Topic also revealed that just 6.5 per cent of households can expect to receive gigabit-capable fibre-optic cables by 2020 unless action is taken.   Source:

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