Superfast broadband will be available to 19 million homes and businesses by spring 2014
BT has said that its fibre broadband roll-out is at least 18 months ahead of schedule, with 12 million homes and businesses already covered.
BT said it was able to work more quickly as a result of "learning lessons" along the way. When complete, the BT fibre network will be the biggest in the UK, with 19 million homes and businesses connected.
This is the second time the completion date has been moved forward, with it previously set for the end of 2014. It was originally planned for the end of 2015.
Maria Miller, secretary of state for culture said that connectivity was a key issue for the UK.
She said: "I now look forward to seeing rapid progress in the Government-backed projects to connect hard to reach areas."
The Government hopes that such developments will help it climb up the so-called ‘broadband league tables'. Its eventual aim is to have the best superfast broadband network amongst major European countries by 2015.
Such hopes were quashed earlier this year when former BT boss Peter Cochrane slammed the plans as being "super slow".
Cochrane, who used to be chief technology officer at BT, said that in terms of broadband the UK was at "the back of the pack".
He said that as well as investment being too low, the speed of the UK's super-fast broadband was second rate.
"Even our aspirations are low; 20 Mbits/sec isn't superfast. It's super slow. It's a candle, while the rest of the world is using the light bulb. The UK risks being frozen out of the next industrial revolution," he claimed.
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