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Four million and counting – BT retail passes broadband milestone

BT Retail became the UK’s first broadband supplier to pass the four million customer mark. The achievement cements BT’s position as the UK’s most popular supplier of broadband and follows the fifth consecutive independent survey to identify BT as having the UK’s best performing ADSL broadband service.

BT Retail had 172,000 broadband customers in June 2002 when BT put broadband at the heart of its strategy. The acceleration to four million has taken just over five years meaning a new customer has been added on average every 40 seconds over this period. This also equates to more than 2,000 new customers each day during that period. The last million customers have been added in ten months.

The broadband market has boomed in recent years thanks to BT’s investment in making the service available to almost every home in the UK. More than 99.8 per cent of UK homes can access broadband and more than half of these homes have now taken up the service.

This dramatic rise in connections has led to the UK overtaking most of its main competitors in terms of broadband penetration. Only Canada is ahead of the UK in the G8 meaning the UK is ahead of Japan, France, Germany and the US. There are more than 15 million connections in the UK with approximately 11.5m of those running over the BT network. The rest are carried via the UK’s cable network.

BT Retail chief executive Ian Livingston said: “Four million customers is a great achievement in such a short time. Broadband has proved to be one of the most popular new services ever seen. It is already delivering next generation television, inclusive free phone calls in High Definition sound and great value mobile calls. Broadband can provide so many more services than just internet surfing and it has become central to many people’s lives and businesses. Customers want to take advantage of the potential of broadband and need a high quality, reliable service – that’s why BT is the UK’s most popular broadband service.”

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.