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BT lowers trigger levels

Broadband rollout ramps up

Telco giant BT has finally lowered the number of registrations required for broadband to as little as 200 in a bid to speed up the rollout of high-speed internet services.

Trigger levels for 388 telephone exchanges have been reduced due to "a review of the economics of providing ADSL", according to the telco.

Until now, BT has ignored criticism that its qualification requirements for upgrading exchanges for broadband — so-called trigger levels — were too high.

BT countered criticism from campaigners at Broadband4Britain back in June, shortly after the trigger level scheme was launched.

Initial targets were set by the telco at 300-500; Broadband4Britain said figures should be closer to 50, a claim which BT shunned as "unrealistic and uneconomic".

"The registration scheme has helped us guide investment in broadband to match demand. Our growing experience of the actual work involved now allows us to be confident in lowering many of the demand levels at which we will upgrade exchanges," said Paul Reynolds, chief executive of BT.

The revised scheme is to show updated trigger levels from 24 January. The maximum demand level will now be higher at 550, but BT has promised to lower the majority of trigger levels by as many as 350 registrants. Some areas will now require only 200 registration requests.

The scheme has so far led to the upgrade of 13 exchanges, with 58 more currently under way. More than 66 percent of households are now connected to the 1,132 BT ADSL-enabled exchanges.

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