BT Retail has announced that the number of broadband subscribers using its service is over four million. Back in 2002 BT Retail had just 172,000 broadband customers, so the rate of growth is impressive with the last one million lines taking just ten months to add.
“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.”BT Retail Chief Executive Ian Livingston
At this time the full press release is not available on the BT.com website, so we have taken the comments from Comms Business.
Mr Livingston's comments perhaps are hiding some things about UK broadband as a whole. The fact that High Definition can only be used in relation to audio is very telling. Internet TV has been available from HomeChoice since 2000 but as yet has not really taken off. Any of the providers using BT Wholesale services, as well as plenty of unbundled providers, would likely struggle if Internet TV was to become mainstream.
In terms of broadband penetration, i.e. percentage of households with a broadband connection, the UK is only second to Canada in the G8, amazingly ahead of Japan. Though as always, this is just part of the story. Japan offers speeds up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) which is still a pipedream in the UK.