Broadband News

xDSL growth figures for third quarter in 2006

There was some concern earlier in 2006 about the rate of growth of xDSL connections in the UK, but the latest figures showing the number of BT Wholesale xDSL connections along with the continuing growth of LLU appear to quell this worry. has some analysis on the numbers.

The most interesting figure in the Point-Topic analysis is figure 2, which shows the xDSL take-up and growth rates per region along with relative population size. In the London and Greater Manchester regions the share of BT Wholesale lines has dropped by 1.7% and 3.6% respectively, and since cable broadband coverage is fairly static, the obvious answer is the increase in take-up for unbundled (LLU) services. The table below shows the Top 10 and Bottom 10 BT areas in respect to growth in the last quarter. Areas like Eilean Siar (population in 2001 was 26,502) are very likely at the top of the chart as they are some of the most recent areas to see their BT exchanges enabled for an ADSL service.

UK Region

BT Area

Q3 2006 xDSL Growth

Scotland Eilean Siar 44.4%
Wales Powys 12.9%
Wales Gwynedd 12.0%
Scotland Dumfries & Galloway 11.5%
Wales Pembrokeshire 11.4%
Wales Carmarthenshire 11.2%
Wales Ceredigion 11.1%
Scotland Shetland Islands 11.0%
Scotland East Dunbartonshire 10.9%
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 10.7%
... ... ...
East of England Hertfordshire 3.8%
Wales Cardiff 3.8%
Yorkshire & Humberside West Yorkshire 3.7%
Wales Bridgend 3.3%
South East Buckinghamshire 3.3%
Scotland Renfrewshire 3.0%
Yorkshire & Humberside South Yorkshire 3.0%
South East Berkshire 2.0%
London London -1.7%
North West Greater Manchester -3.6%

Overall the UK has around 9.4 million xDSL lines, up from 8.7 million in Q2 2006, an increase of 8%. The number of BT Wholesale based xDSL lines rose from 8.07 million to 8.49 million at the end of September 2006. As providers like Talk Talk and Orange now start to get to grips with transferring customers onto their unbundled platforms, we may see further erosion of the BT Wholesale share in the metropolitan areas.


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