BT have confirmed plans for their higher speed broadband services which are set to launch across the UK at the end of March, offering speeds of up to 8Mbps rather than the current maximum 2Mbps.

More than 5300 exchanges are being upgraded, giving an overall footprint for the higher speeds to 99.6% of the population, with some 78% of customers expected to see an increase to 4Mbps and 42% achieving 6Mbps or more.

People living or working near to their local exchange should be able to get the very highest 8Mbps line rate speed from their connection, with full details of what each line is predicted to be able to support being listed on service providers websites from March 31st when the service launches.

Speaking about the announcement BT Wholesale's Paul Reynolds said "Our approach in getting the most out of ADSL technology means we get higher speeds to a national footprint as quickly as possible - making sure the opportunities are not just restricted to the urban centres, nor those service providers with their own networks".

The new faster speed service will allow for higher speed applications to become widespread across the UK, improving the experience of streaming video downloads and allowing higher resolution and clearer pictures without suffering problems with buffering and long load times.