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The government has hailed Openreach's pledge to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband available to three million premises by 2020.

FTTP offers speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is enough to stream 200 HD movies simultaneously, and significantly faster than the 24Mbps speeds delivered by superfast broadband.

The work will start in the next few months in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Openreach believes this will set it "on the right trajectory" to achieve its goal of building a ten million FTTP footprint by the mid-2020s.

Matt Hancock, the Culture and Digital Secretary, welcomed the move, as he believes full-fibre connectivity will be "vital in building a Britain that's fit for the future", the Daily Mail reports.

"Our focus over the last two years has been to achieve the government’s target of getting 95 per cent superfast coverage," he commented.

"That was the right strategy for the last two years. Now having got to 95 per cent, the mandate is to fix the last five per cent and move on to the upgrade from superfast to ultrafast."

However, Labour's response was less positive, with Shadow Culture and Digital Minister Kevin Brennan saying the UK will still be "years behind the rest of Europe on broadband".

"The paltry ambition shown is little short of embarrassing," he commented.

Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Vince Cable added that while the investment is welcome, BT has "massively underperformed" in recent years, which means Britain is lagging behind many other European nations.

"Most of the high-tech industries we want to be successful in will need fast internet connections and the slowness of delivery here is holding back the country greatly," he said.

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