"I wish I lived in Ebbsfleet Valley" - that's not a saying you hear every day, but it might start to become more common...
The teeny town in Kent will soon boast one of the fastest broadband services in the world as the area has been chosen by British Telecom to trial a 100Mbit network.
Initially 10,000 homes will benefit along with 6m square feet of commercial space and 3m square feet of retail, leisure and community facilities. The service will go live in August with BT laying the necessary fibre optic cabling as we speak.
"This is our first deployment of fibre rather than copper to residential customers on a new build site," said Steve Robertson, CEO of BT's Openreach initiative. "It will enable communication providers to gauge what demand exists for very high speed broadband and to assess what commercial models may be appropriate in the future. Unlike many other countries, in the UK we offer all our products on a fully equivalent wholesale basis. We are very proud of that commitment and its clear and positive effect on the overall market."
If successful BT says it wants to start laying fibre optic cabling across larger areas - notably the major urban centres, but the one time monopolist's plans depend greatly on the outcome of an ongoing Ofcom investigation which is looking at how best to build the nation's fibre optic framework.
Sadly this means - Ebbsfleeters aside - that 100Mbit broadband won't be coming near you anytime soon (at least not via BT) but with a 24Mbit service scheduled to roll out during spring this year only the heaviest pirates most enthusiast web users are likely to be disappointed...