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Telewest has reported a massive jump in broadband customers putting it behind rivals NTL and ahead of BTopenworld.

Publishing its latest figures Britain's second biggest cableco reports that 70,000 households now subscribe to its blueyonder broadband service - an increase of 71 per cent in the three months to September.

The latest figures from the mass market Internet division of BT reveal it has 62,000 customers. And NTL - Britain's biggest cableco - reports it has 79,000 broadband users.

The sizeable increase in take-up coincided with a nation-wide advertising campaign during the summer to boost awareness for broadband.

Philip Jansen, MD of Telewest Broadband's consumer division, believes that the message about broadband is beginning to filter through to consumers.

"We're dispelling any notion of apathy among UK consumers - our booming sales show there is plenty of life in the broadband bulldog," he said.

Crucially for Telewest, broadband is helping to increase its customer base. One in five of its new users become customers because they want broadband Internet services.

Seven out of ten then go on and subscribe to other packages such as cable TV or telephony services, helping to increase the amount of cash Telewest gets per customer.

Today's figures coincide with the release of Telewest's Q3 results. For the nine months to September 30 total turnover was up 20 per cent to £973 million compared to £813 million during the corresponding period last year.

Earnings before interest etc (EBITDA) were up 22 per cent to £225 million during the nine months to September.

By mid morning shares in Telewest had jumped more than 17 per cent - 10.25p - to 68.25p. ®

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