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A "sudden surge" in demand for DSL broadband in Guildford has left BT on the hop and net users twiddling their thumbs waiting for high-speed net access. BT Wholesale, which provides DSL that is resold by ISPs such as AOL UK, Tiscali and Wanadoo UK, has confirmed that all capacity at its Guildford telephone exchange has been used up.

New DSL broadband customers in the affluent Surrey town must wait until BT installs extra capacity in its exchange. The UK giant telco says this should come on stream by the end of this week.

News that Guildford had "run out of broadband" was contained in a blog by Adam Curry, a mover and shaker in podcasting (in essence, radio broadcasts for MP3 players).

On December 3 he wrote: "I just got off the phone with British Telecom, who informed me that there are no ports available at my exchange and someone would have to leave before one becomes available. Yes, there is a waiting list, no they can't tell me where I am on the list, since it is doled out to multiple ISPs."

A spokesman for BT acknowledged that all the available broadband connections in Guildford had been used up but denied that new users would have to wait until someone dropped-off before being hooked up.

He told The Register: "We do have people waiting on that exchange. The capacity has been reached but new lines will be installed this week."

The situation was "not ideal", he added, but it was "not typical of what is going on ... Guildford was hit by a "sudden surge in demand."

BT was also unable to say for how long the exchange has been "full" (11 days at least according to Curry) or how many people are on the waiting list for broadband. ®

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