By Richard Thurston
BT claims it will sign-up its 10 millionth broadband customer this week, meaning just one in 250 homes and businesses will be unable to get broadband from the former incumbent.
Broadband growth has rocketed in the five years since it became widely available, according to BT. Figures released today by the telco show that just 300,000 homes had ordered a DSL line by June 2002. That number has since risen more than 30-fold.
Although BT-supplied DSL (whether through BT Retail, BT Wholesale or by local loop unbundling) accounts for only about 80 per cent of total broadband lines, 89 per cent of new customers are purchasing BT-supplied lines, the telco said. Most of the remaining 11 per cent are choosing services from cable operator NTL:Telewest.
BT's figures are likely to be bolstered further by Vodafone's move into the broadband marketplace. From 8 January, the mobile operator will start selling DSL services resold from BT.
Vodafone's broadband services - called Vodafone at Home - sees customers tied into an 18-month contract and charged £35 per month if they don't simultaneously have a mobile phone contract with the company.
BT-based broadband is now available from all bar 10 telephone exchanges. The company claims 99.8 per cent of homes connected to an enabled exchange can receive broadband.