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BT reforms broadband registration scheme

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BT has lowered the number of registrations needed for some exchanges to be converted to broadband in a bid to speed up the roll-out of ADSL in the UK.

For instance, Holmer Green in Buckinghamshire has had its trigger level reduced from 700 to 250, and since it has already passed this threshold, is now set to be converted to DSL.

In all, BT has reduced the threshold for 388 exchanges and also set trigger levels for a further 87 areas.

The thresholds are part of BT's broadband demand registration scheme, which is designed to map pockets of broadband demand across the country currently without DSL. If sufficient demand can be plotted through people registering their interest, then BT is happy to convert the exchange to broadband.

BT originally set some very high thresholds claiming that this number of people was needed to justify the investment. However, it now claims that a review of the economics (such as the price of kit coming down) of providing ADSL at local exchanges means that it can lower the number of people needed to make the investment viable.

In a statement Paul Reynolds, BT Wholesale chief executive, said: "The registration scheme has helped us guide investment in broadband to match demand. Our growing experience of the actual work involved now allows us to be confident in lowering many of the demand levels at which we will upgrade exchanges for broadband."

Last month BT eliminated a layer of clunky bureaucracy from its much-criticised ADSL pre-registration scheme by removing the need for 75 per cent of registrations to be confirmed.

The move was a victory for common sense and means that BT will upgrade an exchange as soon as it hits its trigger level.

BT has so far converted 13 exchanges to DSL thanks to this scheme with work underway at a further 58.

Two-thirds of households (1,132 exchanges) are now connected to a DSL-enabled exchange. ®

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