Next generation broadband goes live in South Molton.

SOUTH Molton is one of the latest areas in the South West to benefit from an improved broadband service.

BT has introduced its next ‘generation broadband’ service to homes and businesses in the town, offering download speeds of up to 20Mbps, more than double the speed previously available.

The local exchange is one of 28 in the South West to go live with the new service, delivered over copper lines.

This investment is in addition to BT’s £2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband, which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “The rapid roll-out of faster broadband continues to reach out to more communities across the South West.

“This major investment is playing a vital role in the future prosperity of the region. The technology is changing for the better the way we live and work, helping businesses work more efficiently and flexibly and find new markets.

“And households are better able to make use of the huge range of on-line educational and entertainment opportunities available.

“But there is still much work to be done and we want to work with the public sector to find solutions for even the most challenging locations.”

Jeremy Filmer-Bennett, chief executive of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “This announcement is further good news for the South West.

“It will help support our recovery from the challenging economic conditions of recent years. Sophisticated communications are an essential part of modern day life and they will become even more important in a marketplace, which is breaking down regional and national barriers and becoming increasingly global.”