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UK Broadband Lines To Hit 8m - 2005

Posted: 27th Sep, 2004 By: MarkJ
The Telecom Markets' Broadband Subscriber Database (BSD) has reported that the total number of UK broadband 'lines' passed 5m in September, with an estimated 8m expected for 2005:

"With some 50,000 new subscribers joining every week, the 5 million barrier was breached in mid-September", says Gareth Willmer, analyst for the database. Out of some 3 million DSL subscribers about 40% subscribe to BT directly, the majority subscribing to a service offered by ISPs that buy their DSL service wholesale from BT. Unbundling, which reduces operators' dependence on the dominant carrier, has yet to make an impact in the UK, says Willmer: there were only 13,000 subscribers to unbundled DSL by the end of June compared to 730,000 in France.

Forecasts based on the BSD suggest that there will be well over 8 million broadband customers in the UK by the end of 2005, about a tenth of whom will subscribe to unbundled DSL. Overall, a third of households will subscribe to broadband by that date.

Willmer adds that in the next year or so subscriptions will rise rapidly owing to falling prices, VoIP launches and increasing competition from alternative broadband carriers. Falling prices of unbundling could be a key driver of an increase in UK broadband subscriber numbers, as has been seen in France, he says.

The press release included a chart covering DSL and cable broadband growth, which shows that cable broadband equated to roughly 1.9m of the overall 5m+ figure (21% of UK households).
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