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BT racks up five million broadband users

Broadband Britain is in rude health, with BT hitting an ambitious target a year early
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

BT will connect its five millionth wholesale broadband customer 12 months ahead of its own target.

The telco announced on Monday that it is on the brink of hitting the five million milestone this week, calling it a "massive achievement" for the whole UK telecoms industry.

"The momentum of broadband is continuing to build," said Ben Verwaayen, BT chief executive, in a statement. "The latest million connections have come in just four months, and BT is connecting a customer every ten seconds"

These five million customers are shared between over two hundred Internet service providers, according to BT, which says it currently has about 35 percent of the retail market.

Hitting the five million figure this year is something of a personal triumph for Verwaayen, who is widely credited with sparking the UK's broadband boom when he slashed BT's wholesale prices soon after joining the company in 2002. Verwaayen's declaration in 2003 that BT wanted to reach the five million target by the summer of 2006 left some BT insiders concerned that he could have set the telco an impossible task, but broadband take-up has surpassed even the most optimistic predictions since.

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