BT Wholesale have announced today at the Broadband World Forum event in London that the number of households connected to an ADSL enabled exchange has reached 80%. Apparently this is equivalent to the number of households who have access to mains gas.
This is a large advance on the position in July 2002, when coverage was 66%, and around 94% of households across those exchanges could get ADSL. Now we are looking at 80% and from 24th September around 97% of those should be able to get ADSL. Looking at the coverage figures another way, the change is from 18.6% of BT exchanges having ADSL, to 25% of all BT exchanges. So geographically still a long way to go, but the size of the exchanges without ADSL is rapidly diminishing. The good thing is that every week more and more exchanges are coming on line.
What about those exchanges without a trigger level? Which is something that concerns around 10% of households. Well trials are continuing on wireless and satellite based technologies, getting affordable broadband coverage to the 3000 or so exchanges that cover the remaining 10% of households is a challenge. It is likely that not one technology or one body will provide the coverage in these areas, it is even possible that we may see co-operation between providers to make enabling these areas an economic proposition. Lets hope that the next 12 months will see coverage improve rapidly, and that companies like NTL and Telewest will be able to resume their own roll-outs.
The full BT press release can read on BTs site here.
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