BT it will this week break through the ten-million broadband connections barrier, exceeding its initial target of five million connections by the end of 2006.
The original target, set in April 2002 when there were fewer than 150,000 DSL connections, was viewed as highly ambitious. Then, broadband coverage was 66%, where it has now reached more than 99.8% of the UK.
The ten million wholesale connections are shared between BT Wholesale and Openreach. BT Wholesale supplies services to more than 8.7 million customers (via service providers including BT Retail), while Openreach supplies more than 1.3 million lines to customers via those telecoms companies and internet service providers (ISPs) who act as local loop unbundlers.
The company said broadband has become the fastest growing consumer product in recent years vastly outpacing the growth in televisions, CD players, video recorders or mobile phones. More than 13 million people in the UK (including cable customers) now use the service, making the UK one of the fastest growing markets in the G8.