The fastest broadband service yet is being offered as a trial in London by new company Be.

It is offering speeds of up to 24Mb downstream and 1Mb upstream, and pilot scheme members will pay nothing until October 2005. "Each member will also be provided with a free 'Be Box' wireless router, opening a gateway to new online experiences," the company said.

"We are hoping to build a very special community of pilot members," said Dana Pressman, managing director of Be. "For anyone interested in new technology and the fastest speeds, this will be a must have product."

Be has built its network based using ADSL2+ technology: "The Be team has worked really hard to be able to be the first ISP to offer ADSL 2+ to Britain," said Pressman.

Be is guaranteeing a monthly broadband service charge of £20 for all pilot scheme members. To join the pilot scheme, Londoners need to have a BT line that can be connected to an exchange where Be has fitted its equipment. Its website allows users to type in their phone number to see if they are eligible.