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90% of households connected to an ADSL enabled exchange
Wednesday 19 May 2004 18:50:00 by Andrew Ferguson

BT Wholesale has today announced that coverage of ADSL has broken the 90% mark with the 22 exchanges that went live today. The full BT press release can be found here. With exchanges now going live every week, the coverage is increasing each week, of course at present there is generally 3-4% of households on each exchange who are out of reach of the ASDL service under its current limits. The long reach trial in Milton Keynes will hopefully reduce this percentage to almost nil.

ADSL Broadband rollout timeline
Date Event % UK homes and businesses connected to broadband exchange
April 2000 First 400 exchanges enabled 26 per cent
July 2002 Launch of broadband registration scheme to target investment against demand 66 per cent
January 2003 BT abolishes 75% advance order qualification stage
November 2003 More people connected to broadband enabled exchange than connected to mains gas. Also the release of 2300 trigger levels. 80 per cent
May 2004 Nine out of 10 in UK connected to broadband exchange 90 per cent
Summer 2005 Completion of rollout programme for all but very smallest exchanges 99.6 per cent

The timetable shows really how far the UK has come since 2002 in terms of ADSL coverage. The planned roll-out scheme puts the icing on the cake, and by been able to enable exchanges in planned phases it should result in exchanges been enabled on average faster than if the registration scheme had continued. The 0.4%, approximately 100,000 households that will be connected to non-ADSL enabled exchanges by the end of 2005, will hopefully see other developments to bring broadband in an affordable form in the coming months.

Let's hope that service providers and BT Wholesale can innovate and attract large numbers of new consumers to the broadband market place to make the investments pay off, but also that they do not let the market stagnate and bring us back to square one in a few years.


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