BT’s announcement that it has connected its one millionth broadband customer, meeting a target set by helmsman Ben Verwaayen last February, has been slated by rivals which claim that the former incumbent’s pricing policies have delayed development of the market. According to the Financial Times, around 550,000 of the one million subscribers are connected to BT’s own service providers, with other ISPs sharing the rest. BT claims in excess of 100 providers use its PSTN to provide high speed ADSL access, but rivals such as Italian ISP Tiscali claim the incumbent has not matched retail price cuts to wholesale offerings, leaving alternative providers on a less than level footing. In a move to encourage broadband take-up, BT has set up a scheme for those looking to register their interest, offering to make local exchanges ADSL-ready once a certain level of registrations have been reached. The company recently confirmed it will be lowering the trigger point by 50 registrations – or as much as 25% – with the result that it will be upgrading 69 exchanges in the immediate future.
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