Telewest hits broadband milestone

Broadband Britain is set to end the year on a high, as cable operator Telewest announced the latest figures for take-up of its blueyonder service

Telewest showed on Friday that Britain's current surge in broadband uptake isn't confined to BT, when it announced that it has just signed up its 250,000th blueyonder customer.

The cable firm also said that 25,000 of these customers have taken up its 1Mbps broadband. It is understood that around 6,000 new customers a week are signing up for either Telewest's 512Kbps or 1Mbps service.

The news comes just over a week after BT signed up its 500,000th wholesale broadband customer.

"Our figures show there is a real appetite for broadband. And within our franchise areas we are still ahead in the numbers game, in addition to delivering unrivalled quality and innovation," said Gavin Patterson, managing director of Telewest Broadband, in a statement.

"ADSL connections have recently hit half a million, but this makes our achievements all the more impressive when you consider that figure [BT's] represents the combined efforts of over 100 companies and includes both business and residential customers," Patterson added, pointing out that Telewest -- unlike BT and fellow cable firm NTL -- doesn't offer a wholesale broadband product.

Telewest also said recently that its service was much more popular than BT's in areas where customers had a choice -- with eight out of ten choosing cable broadband rather than ADSL. BT insiders, however, did cast some doubts on the wider relevance of this claim.

Total broadband take-up is now around 34,000 new customers per week in the UK. BT Wholesale leads the way with some 16,000 new connections each week, followed by NTL with an estimated 12,000 per week and Telewest with around 6,000 per week.

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