BT crows about broadband numbers

But why?

BT is boasting that it has recorded its best three months ever for wholesale broadband connections, racking up 50,000 new xDSL lines a week.

Today's announcement follows a series of downbeat reports about the UK's dominant fixed line telco ahead of the publication of the telecoms review by regulator Ofcom. It is no doubt designed to reassure investors and market watchers that BT's investment in broadband is paying off.

Indeed, one insider said that the "market was being confused [by] wrong figures" currently being bandied about. In a bid to put things right, BT announced today that it wired up more than 600,000 broadband connections for the three months to the end of September, taking BT Wholesale's customer base to almost 3.3m.

Said BT Wholesale chief exec Paul Reynolds: "These are fantastic figures for BT, for the hundreds of service providers we support and for Broadband Britain. The huge surge in connections was largely due to BT Wholesale's innovation in stretching the limits of ADSL so that homes beyond 6kms from an exchange can now access broadband.

"This breakthrough led to a dramatic increase in orders as we were suddenly able to satisfy the pent-up demand that existed in many areas. It was also the case that many more communities had access to broadband in the quarter thanks to the continuing roll out of broadband by BT."

BT also confirmed that BT Retail's share of the net additions for the quarter had remained broadly unchanged at 30 per cent, taking its total customer base to 1.28m punters. This comes against some reports which suggested that BT Retail's share had fallen well below this number squeezed by competition from rivals such as AOL UK, NTL and Wanadoo. ®

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