BT has announced that residents of Muswell Hill in London, and Whitchurch in South Glamorgan will be the first to receive its next generation broadband service.
As many as 15,000 users in each area will get the chance to trial the service, which uses fibre-optic cables to link the street cabinets that connect homes and businesses to telephone exchanges. BT claims it will offer speeds of up to 40 megabits per second (Mbps).
The trials, which will begin in summer 2009, have been described by BT as a 'pilot' as the hardware will not be removed once the trial period has ended. However, the telecom giant was unable to give details of the broadband firms participating in the trial and any terms and conditions.
BT said it will run a smaller-scale trial with 30 homes connected to the Foxhall exchange in Kesgrave, Suffolk in early 2009.
The two sites were chosen for their mix of customers and net providers, along with the local communications network and geography. BT will announce further trials towards the end of 2009, with commercial roll-out expected to start in 2010.
See also: BT to bring 100Mb broadband to 10m homes