The milestone underscores a wider trend of Digital Subscriber Line broadband growth in Europe, according to Jupiter Research European broadband analyst Ian Fogg.
Fogg predicted that the UK DSL market would exceed cable broadband by 2004. DSL has the advantage of numerous providers all marketing slightly different offerings, Fogg said, as well as new technologies that make it cheaper to convert exchanges and roll out new connections.
BT has said that new technologies that reduce exchange upgrade costs could allow it to roll out broadband access to 90% of U.K. homes.
The company also said that it would lower by up to 25% its "trigger level", or number of people who need to register their demand before BT upgrades an exchange. The reduced threshold means that the company will immediately upgrade 69 new exchanges with broadband technology, BT said.
While BT has benefited from new upgrade technologies, cable broadband providers have had a harder time extending access, especially given that many cable providers are mired in financial woes, Fogg said.
Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service