BT has announced that during this week it will be breaking through the ten million broadband users barrier as it continues to connect users to faster Internet services. Its initial target set back in 2002 was to achieve five million broadband users by the end of 2006, a goal it has far exceeded.
Of the ten million lines, 8.7 million are provided via BT Wholesale to Internet Service Providers who then sell the service to the end users with their own service layer whilst 1.3 million lines are so called 'unbundled' (LLU) which strips another layer of BT out of the equation. LLU introduces stronger competition at the wholesale level by allowing development of a wider range of products for different markets. Indirectly however, BT is involved in providing some of the services for all ten million lines. In addition to this, another 3 million connections BT say are provided by cable operators.
"2007 is beginning with broadband firmly established at the heart of the UK economy, helping businesses to compete and enriching people's lives. The UK now has over 200 service providers making it the most competitive broadband market in the world. That means fantastic choice and value for consumers, and a constant stream of new and innovative applications."Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive - BT Group
BT has put broadband at the heart of its business strategy which has lead to almost 90% of new broadband connections in Q4/06 being provided through BT's network, a huge improvement from 2004 when this was less than half. BT's offers of next generation ADSL2+ services over its 21CN network being built at the moment will start becoming widely available next year. We would hope cable operators are on the ball and will be able to introduce new faster services within the next twelve months.
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