BT is matching Virgin Media's consumer and home worker fibre broadband speed of 100Mbps, but also adding a higher data sending speed.

BT has expanded its BT Infinity broadband family to include a download speed of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second). This matches Virgin Media's fastest commercial download speed, and in addition BT says it's offering an upload speed that is up to 50 percent faster at 15Mbps, compared to Virgin's 10Mbps.

Most BT domestic broadband customers connected with traditional copper wire receive a maximum download speed of 10Mbps dependent on the distance from the phone exchange and the condition of network infrastructure used, with a typical upload speed of between 1 and 2Mbps or much lower in some cases.

The BT fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) offering from BT is ideal for remote workers dealing with large files that have to be received and sent, and for consumer TV and video on demand use - particularly in the HD format - and online gamers.

The 100Mbps BT Infinity Option 3 comes with unlimited evening and weekend calls for £35 a month. This is the same monthly price charged by Virgin Media. For both deals at this price the user has to also rent a phone line.

John Petter, managing director of BT's consumer division, said: "We are seeing very encouraging takeup of our fibre-based broadband and we now have more than 300,000 customers. BT Infinity Option 3 matches the top speed currently available in the UK and beats the upload speed offered by Virgin Media's best offering."

Both companies are in the middle of rolling out their fastest fibre broadband offerings across the UK, with BT saying the 100Mbps package will initially be available to customers in areas including Highams Park and Leytonstone in London, Ilford in Essex, Ashford in Middlesex, Chester, York, St. Austell and Exeter.