BT has announced trials of a solution which could deliver superfast broadband to hard-to-access locations in cities across the UK.
The new form of Fibre-to-the-Basement technology - developed and funded by BT - will be piloted in two City of London buildings from next month.
As a result of the trial, 225 homes in the Middlesex Street Estate and around 50 SMEs based at 65 London Wall will have access to download speeds of up to 80Mbps from more than 130 different service providers for the first time.
By integrating fibre broadband kit into a building basement or comms room, the need for street furniture, public civil engineering works and road closures will be reduced - and so will the time it takes for an installation to be carried out.
Graham Bell, Chief Information Officer of the City of London Corporation, said: "All businesses are keener than ever to be well-connected and this Fibre-to-Basement pilot is a welcome step forwards, especially for smaller SMEs who are critical to London's commercial dynamism.
"We hope the trials will lead to further expansion of fibre broadband across the Square Mile for residents and SMEs, complementing the Ethernet infrastructure already available to larger firms."
Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach, said: "City centre locations present unique challenges when it comes to upgrading consumer broadband. For example, there is less room for us to install a fibre cabinet on the pavement, and it is often harder to get permission to close roads to do the work. We also need to secure permission from multiple landlords to run new cables across their land and properties.
"That's why we are being innovative with new technology solutions like this one. We are optimistic that this new solution will prove that fibre broadband can be installed into building basements quickly, smoothly and economically. It could also have the added benefit of being less disruptive for our customers and the general public."