Broadband speeds are to take an unprecedented leap forward in the next few months, with Freedom2Surf claiming to be in pole position.

The ISP, which is today launching its new 8Mbps service, will soon be upgrading the offering to 24Mbps.

The 8Mbps service is available for £15 a month. At present it is online at only 14 exchanges, covering metropolitan areas, but Freedom2Surf says that will soon go up to around 200 exchanges.

Customers on Freedom2Surf’s existing 2Mbps Connect Packages will be able to upgrade to 8Mbps by paying a one-off £15 regrade fee if their local exchange capability is sufficient.

Then, at a certain point “in the next three to four months”, all subscribers to the 8Mbps service will be promoted to 24Mbps, Freedom2Surf has said.

Broadband services of such speeds will have a massive effect on the quality and speed of users’ downloads. Online gaming and home entertainment media downloading is likely to be revolutionised.

Chris Panayis, managing director of Freedom2Surf, commented: “We are expecting to see the launch of a number of new broadband-content services such as internet TV during 2005, and super-speed broadband will allow users to turn their internet connection into a complete entertainment gateway for their home.

“The promise of Local Loop Unbundling is finally delivering. Consumers as a result will be able to enjoy 24Mbps broadband for the same price as many are paying for bog-standard 1Mbps services.”