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Telewest added 39,000 new broadband customers during the summer taking its overall subscriber base to 216,000 at the end of September.

This puts it just a smidgen ahead of BTopenworld - the ISP division of dominant telco BT - which today announced that it had 213,000 broadband subscribers at the end of September.

For Telewest, around one in ten of its subscribers have opted for the cableco's 1Mb service which was launched in June, with the remainder on its 512Kb service.

Unlike NTL, Telewest says all of its broadband subscribers receive connection speeds in excess of 500Kb/s.

That said, the number of punters leaving the service -or "churn", in industry argot - rose marginally in the past quarter to 11.7 per cent from 9.5 per cent. In total, Telewest has more than half a million Internet customers - with four out of ten of those opting for broadband.

The cableco also claims that where people have a choice between cable broadband and ADSL, eight out of ten opt for the cable service.

In a statement Gavin Patterson, MD, consumer division, said: "We are continuing to demonstrate our broadband leadership, with eight out of ten consumers opting for cable over ADSL where the technologies compete head to head.

"Our blueyonder broadband internet service is the real McCoy at 512 kb/s and indeed, one in ten of our customers now enjoys twenty times the speed of dial-up with 1 Mb/s.

"And with our figures we're not talking about wholesale, retail or resale, what you see is what you get - 235,000 households getting end to end broadband internet from one provider," he said.

Total turnover for the whole of the Telewest group for the nine months to the end of September grew four per cent to £1.01bn, up from £973m during the same period last year.

The cableco made an operating loss of £187m, down 25 per cent compared to a £251m loss last year. ®

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