BT has published a list of over 40 market towns that will be offered super-fast broadband next year.

The towns include Bishop Auckland in County Durham, Epping in Essex, Wimborne in Dorset, Pontycymmer in Mid Glamorgan and Bathgate in Lothian.

The network upgrade will potentially serve around 300,000 businesses and homes from spring 2012, said BT. They will be able to access the internet at speeds of up 40 megabits per second.

BT is achieving this increased speed over its standard broadband rate of around 10Mbps by laying faster fibre from its exchanges to street cabinets located near clusters of customers.

The move is part of a £2.5bn ongoing fibre broadband roll-out, which includes improving connectivity in rural parts of the UK.

The list of market towns joins the 785 exchange locations across the country that BT has already listed under its fibre roll-out plan.

Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, the BT division responsible for the roll-out, said : "We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas. So we're constantly evolving our deployment model."

Earlier this month, BT was accused of trying to create a 'two-tier' internet with the introduction of new tools in the wholesale broadband market.

See also: BT announces winners in broadband race