BT hails ADSL progress and plans new marketing push

With 650,000 broadband users on the books, BT is gearing up to drive consumer interest in its cut-down broadband product

BT is planning to launch a large marketing campaign for its no-frills BT Broadband product in the second quarter of 2003.

In its third-quarter results, released on Thursday, the telco also announced that it now had in excess of 650,000 ADSL customers, and had seen growth of 25,000 per week in January.

Around 30 percent of these new users were signing up for BT Broadband -- a sign that Retail is on track with its aim to dominate the consumer broadband market.

"BT Retail's Broadband Direct showed good growth with weekly sales orders now exceeding 7,500. Strong marketing activities are planned to further stimulate demand next quarter," said BT.

BT Broadband was launched last year. Unlike most broadband packages offered by UK ISPs, it does not include features such as email or Web space. Instead, users must approach third-parties to get such services.

Rival broadband provider Telewest was quick to slate BT's latest broadband figures.

"BT is muddling its numbers with a confusing combination of business and residential customers. It's using over 100 ADSL resellers to stake a claim in broadband Britain, but still trailing in our wake," said Gavin Patterson, managing director of Telewest Broadband, in a statement.

Patterson also said that "Cable is retaining its clear lead over BT's ADSL technology, with around eight out of ten broadband users in our franchise area choosing our blueyonder broadband service," referring to research released by the cable firm last year.

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