Thousands of UK broadband users have been hit by a software problem with BT's back-end systems that prevented them from accessing the Internet this week.
A BT spokeswoman said on Friday that the problem has been found and fixed. She indicated that as many as 10,000 people could have been affected in total, but that the backlog was now down to just a few hundred users.
The flaw affected people who were upgrading to BT's one megabit per second ADSL service from a slower product, or who were new customers coming in at the 1Mbps level.
This 1Mbps product, which was launched by BT Wholesale at the end of last year, is suitable for home workers and other types of power user.
Every Internet service provider that resells BT's service has been affected by the software problem. At this stage, these ISPs can only explain to new customers why their service is delayed, and try to pacify existing customers who had chosen to increase the speed of their broadband connection to 1Mbps. Eclipse Internet, an Exeter-based ISP that resells BT's ADSL range, is hoping the problem will be resolved in the next few days.
"We're sure BT will be working like fury this weekend to fix this," said a spokesman for Eclipse Internet. "We're in their hands."