UK super-fast broadband lines tipped to pass 250,000 in April

Tuesday, April 12th 2011
Point Topic has claimed the number of properties receiving speeds of at least 25Mbps will surpass 250,000 this month.
UK super-fast broadband lines tipped to pass 250,000 in April
BT and Virgin Media are starting to see their investment in next-generation broadband pay off, with new research from Point Topic claiming the number of super-fast connections in the UK has grown significantly in the past year.

The telecoms analyst expects Britain to surpass 250,000 lines that offer speeds of greater than 25Mbps during April 2011.

Virgin was found to be dominating the industry on super-fast access, with the cable company estimated to have 146,000 households and businesses signed up to one of these packages in March - up from 118,000 last December.

According to Point Topic estimates, BT had 86,000 lines in March, with this total representing an increase of 32,000 on the amount recorded at the end of 2010.

Alternative networks were responsible for just 4,000 super-fast connections, meaning the overall UK-wide number stood at 236,000 last month.

Although this figure only represents around one per cent of all properties in the UK, Point Topic chief analyst Tim Johnson said super-fast broadband could be poised to echo the success enjoyed by first-generation internet services a decade ago.

In the five years since the technology became widely available, the number of active connections surpassed 13 million. The figure has now surpassed 19 million.

Mr Johnson noted: "It's dangerous just to assume that history will repeat itself, but it's still a good pointer to what will happen to super-fast broadband in this decade."

The research also revealed 3,700 end users had access to fibre to the home (FTTH) at the end of 2010. This technology, which involves fibre optic cables being run all the way to each individual property, offers download speeds of up to 100Mbps.

A number of internet service providers have announced plans to trial FTTH, including Sky and TalkTalk, which are set to test the product at a 3,600-home network in north-west London.

The pilot scheme will utilise existing BT Openzone infrastructure.

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