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Oftel's March 2003 Broadband Brief

Posted: 10th Apr, 2003 By: MarkJ
UK telecoms regulator Oftel appears to have finally updated its Broadband Brief for March 2003. There's a tremendous amount of detail in the report, so we'll simply summarise some of the more interesting bits below:

Internet access (February 2003)

% UK homes with Internet access = 45%(11.25million)
% UK SMEs with Internet access = 65%
% UK homes using narrowband unmetered = 38%
% UK SMEs using a narrowband unmetered = 35%

Broadband access (as at end March 2003)

Total broadband subscribers = 1.77 million+
End-users of cable modem services = 960,000
End-users of ADSL services = 810,000+


Oftel's report notes that 43% of the population has access to cable modem based broadband services, while 67% are covered by ADSL. BT has enabled some 1,167 local exchanges with ADSL:

5. Key developments since the previous brief

5.1 On 25 March 2003, BT announced a range of new wholesale ADSL products, services and initiatives it will introduce this year which will extend the geographical coverage of broadband and expand customer choice. The main developments will be:

- autumn trials of new 256kbps and 1mbps ADSL wholesale services, with a view to commercial launches before the end of the year;

- extending the reach of ADSL broadband, so that more people connected to upgraded exchanges can get the service;

- trigger levels published on a new batch of 102 exchanges where registered demand is high (31 March 2003); and

- expanding trials of SDSL from the current 22 exchanges to 100, with a view to launching the service commercially in August 2003.

5.2 On 3 April, BT announced further plans:

- ADSL broadband to be brought within reach of 90 per cent of UK homes

- Wholesale DSL prices to be cut

5.3 From May 2003, Ntl will increase the speed and cost of its entry-level cable modem service. It will increase the monthly rental price of this service from £14.99 to £17.99 and increase the speed from 128 kbps to 150 kbps.
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