The UK is expected to pass 250,000 high-speed broadband lines this month according to broadband analysis firm Point Topic. The company has projected figures based on December 2010 data to determine that the number of broadband lines with a speed of greater than 25Mbps at the end of March was 236,000, and should exceed 250,000 in April.
"We went on from [first-generation broadband 10 years ago] to reach over 13 million broadband lines within five years. Now we have over 19 million. It's dangerous just to assume that history will repeat itself, but it's still a good pointer to what will happen to superfast broadband in this decade."Tim Johnson, (Chief Analyst) Point Topic
The majority of these connections are Virgin Media customers which make up an estimated 146,000 at the end of March. Virgin customers can receive 50meg or 100meg broadband through Virgin's fibre-coax hybrid network. 86,000 were estimated to be from what Point Topic refer to as 'BT networks' with the large majority of these being BT Infinity customers who have BT's up-to 40meg broadband through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC). Around 4,000 are other BT Wholesale customers using FTTC. Only a small amount of these customers (around 3,700 in December 2010) were thought to have a full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) based connection offering 100meg or above.
With TalkTalk to launch their FTTC products next month, the number of connections and rate at which these are added is only likely to increase, and this will continue as other broadband providers come on board.