Ebbsfleet in Kent, home to the high-speed Channel Tunnel rail link, will be the first residential location in the country to be given access to a fibre-optic cable network from BT that offers the UK's fastest broadband service.

Residents will have access to the service, which BT currently provides to around 120,000 businesses, from August 2008. Users will benefit from speeds of up to 100Mbps and according to BT, the service will allow multiple HDTV channels to be watched simultaneously, as well as HDTV gaming and almost instant music downloads. The service will also be available to the 6 million sq. ft of commercial space and 3 million sq. ft of retail, leisure and community facilities.

"This is the first time we have used fibre rather than copper cables on a residential development. We plan to make greater used of fibre cables in suitable in the future," commented Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT Openreach.