BT hits broadband milestone

Credit for rising broadband demand and awareness is due to the advertising efforts of the whole industry, says a magnanimous BT

The UK hit another broadband milestone on Thursday with the announcement that BT has signed up its 500,000th ADSL customer.

The news, according to BT, is further confirmation of the growing demand for broadband in the UK, fuelled by increased broadband awareness.

The 500,000th customer was a mobile phone outlet in Barking, called Future AC. Its broadband will be supplied by Easynet, one of almost 200 ISPs that resell BT's wholesale ADSL products.

BT's chief executive, Ben Verwaayen, committed BT to achieving one million ADSL customers by next summer -- a target that the telco is expected to hit.

Alison Ritchie, BT's new chief broadband officer, said in a statement that hitting the 500,000 mark showed BT was making good progress towards the one million target.

"The broadband bandwagon is now really gaining momentum, as awareness and demand are fuelled not only by our own intensive advertising and marketing, but also that of other ISPs. We all benefit from being in the most competitive broadband market in Europe," said Ritchie.

As ZDNet reported earlier this month, the take-up of both ADSL and cable broadband is booming with an estimated 34,000 new customers signing up each week. One reason for this surge in interest is the cuts that BT made to the price of its wholesale ADSL products earlier this year.

Verwaayen also said that BT is aiming for 5 million ADSL customers by 2006. There is understood to be some concern that this target could be missed unless the telecoms industry develops enough compelling applications to make broadband a successful mass-market product.

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