BT connects the UK’s five millionth ADSL broadband user

BT will this week connect the UK’s five millionth ADSL broadband user, one year ahead of schedule.

The last million connections have come in the past four months at a rate of one every ten seconds and the landmark figure even drew the congratulations of the prime minister.

‘It is great news for the whole communications industry that BT has been able to make this announcement a year ahead of target, Tony Blair said. ‘It is also of vital importance for everyone in the UK – businesses and consumers. Broadband has the ability to transform the way we live our lives – whether in business, education or in how we use our leisure time. Most significantly of all, the adoption of broadband technology will enhance the UK’s ability to compete in the modern knowledge economy.’

The five million connections are shared between 200 ISPs. BT’s retail arm still has 35 per cent of the market though this share has fallen sharply. There are also around two million cable broadband subscribers.

According to research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and the Department for Transport, the UK economy could be boosted by up to £7.5bn through productivity gains attributed to broadband, while up to 16 billion fewer miles could be driven as broadband enables more people to work from home and shop online.

BT CEO Ben Verwaayen said that having achieved the target, there no needs to be a change of emphasis.

‘Now the focus needs to move from broadband availability towards the ways in which broadband can improve people’s lives,’ he said. ‘At work through greater productivity, and at home by delivering a whole range of new services.’

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